Dance Your Way to a Healthy Heart

by Joe Lawrence | October 31st, 2013 | Cardio, Indoor

zumbaWinter is fast approaching and temperatures are falling. I personally love the benefits of running, but do not enjoy the lung burn of the cold air and usually seek out alternatives for cardio more feverishly in the cold months. Well, a revelation struck me as I was with my four-year old daughter the other day – dancing will wear you out!

I was invited to an impromptu dance party courtesy of some Disney show my little one was enjoying. After the song was over, I was thoroughly winded. After the show was over, I was ready for a nap. It turns out dancing is a decent cardio workout, and it is indoors.

Doing a quick search online there are hundreds of dance classes in my community. They range from ballet or ballroom dance at upscale studios, to community center Zumba-thons, all of which fit the criteria of keeping the body moving for an extended period to keep the heart rate up.

Dance offers many different styles and can break up the monotony of the usual workout routines. Not only that, the moves will tone muscle, increase stamina, and even burn fat. Not too bad for a little cha-cha-cha.

The location plays a role. True, you could put on a video from YouTube or some cardio-dance DVD and get a good sweat. However, many people are quick to quit or not push themselves as hard when working out in the comfort of their own home. Dancing in a class or with a partner makes it much more difficult to just quit. Now, there is accountability; even if it is just perceived accountability.

Going to a community center class is cheap and many are free. I noticed many local trainers like to offer classes to advertise their business. They are awesome if you want to get moving and get a workout.

It is also is a great way to spend time with a spouse and do something different. Movies are fun, but they do not shrink the bum. Maybe even splurge a little and step it up to a ballroom dance class and learn a skill while getting a workout with your honey.

As for me, I am no dancer. If I were to dance in plain sight of others, I would probably have an ambulance called in fear I was epileptic. So, I will stick to dance parties with my princess. She is a dancing dynamo and will never let me stop. When I start to slow down or think of an excuse to escape, I get the look that only a daughter can give and I start dancing like a fool all over again.

Whatever works or appeals to you, get up and dance this winter. It can be a great social experience, bonding exercise, etc. Just know that it will be a great workout and excellent way to keep the boom boom in the heart beat.


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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.