By Megan Reece Thomas
If you are still looking for great ways to sneak in some physical activity, consider dancing. Throughout the summer, we’ve touched on belly dancing, foam sword fighting and fitting in activity in small bursts to get healthy and boost your immunity for the coming fall and winter. With every week, that time gets closer but it’s still not too late to pick up a physical activity program.
There are literally thousands of ways to move if you choose to dance. Check with your local recreation center and clubs to see if dance lessons are offered. You could always grab your spouse or significant other and hit up a ballroom dancing class. There, you will learn key moves to tango, waltz, foxtrot and rhumba. Not only will the dancing be a fun way to get your heart pumping, all that close contact with your partner might inspire a bit more activity later. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
You can also give line dancing a try. Visit Web sites for local bars and clubs that hold line dancing nights. It’s a great way to get healthy and to meet new peopole. Just limit yourself to one drink while you’re there to get that positive effect.
If you want to channel a little bit of your childhood, go for an adult ballet or tap class. You never, ever get too old for that stuff! These dances require concentration and focus, so they’re wonderful ways to get physical activity without feeling like you’re working.
Check into your local recreation center’s daily fitness classes. Often salsa, Latin or NIA classes are offered weekly. NIA is a combination of dance, tai chi and yoga and provides a fantastic workout for a lot of fun.
If you aren’t one to go out and look for a way to dance, there are also a lot of ways you can dance in your own living room. If you have –– or know someone who has –– Dance Dance Revolution (DDR,) you can get moving. Dance Dance Revolution takes a little getting used to, so start on the lowest level. It involves dancing on a plastic mat you place on the floor and following a set of commands using arrows that float across your television screen. Once you get used to the movements and mechanics of the game, you can move up to a more advanced level. Once you do, the dancing will speed up and will start to look, and feel, like actual hip-hop dancing.
If you really want to go for something different, try doing what I spent this past weekend doing at an anime (Japanese animation) convention in Denver. Search www.YouTube.com for “Learn to Dance the Hare Hare Yukai” and watch this animated dance that people actually learn to do in real life. Find the video that says “no pitch change” and you can watch it in half, 3/4 and full speed. If nothing else, you can impress your kids and amuse your spouse if you can learn it.
Any way you do it, dancing for physical activity is an effective, interesting and fun way to get in shape.