Exercise 101: Shake What Your Mama Gave You

Enjoy good musicAre you looking for a different, fun and engaging way to get in your cardio? Me too! If you don’t like to run or walk may I suggest the benefits of dancing. Try vigorous dancing for 30 minutes a day, at least. I’m not talking about a two-step, you must move your body. Every so often I will substitute a cardio workout with a dance session for the same length of time. I get my arms, legs, and core moving. I work up a sweat just like I would with my regular cardio. I also take the pace up and down. Your body burns more fat if you do high intensity bursts within the workout. You’ve heard me talk about HIIT (high intensity interval training). This is when you take your heart rate up for a short period of time, then let it come back down a little bit, then right back up. This creates an after burn effect where your body will continue to burn calories after the workout is finished.

Even though you’re having fun dancing to the music of your choosing, you will want to build in the effects of a regular cardio workout. I love to dance, so I have no problem coming up with a routine on the spot that gets me pumping to the beat. If you need some direction you can join a class. Dance classes are popping up in fitness centers all over the country. You can also do Zumba® which combines dancing, high energy music and fitness into a total body workout. I’ve done it, it’s fun! I even have the at-home video workout, Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD Set. Unfortunately, where I live it’s difficult to find classes that work with my schedule, but the DVD is good too. The best feature of the class, however, is being able to do it with other people. If you’re able to take a class with an instructor I highly recommend it.

There are other video options as well  that will walk you through the moves and get your heart rate up. Don’t forget about video games. Wii and Xbox Kinect have games where you dance along and earn points. Two of my personal favorites are Dance Party and Michael Jackson The Experience. What I love about these two games is they get you moving and you’re having so much fun you don’t even realize how much time has flown by.

Shake what your momma gave you and burn some calories at the same time. What’s your go to dance move? Share your comments below and let your friends in on the party by sharing this link.





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