Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dancing with the Amateurs

I'm going to make a confession.  I don't really like to exercise.  I go in spurts where I'm all into it - logging miles on my treadmill and pumping iron along with my strength training DVDs.  But before I know it, the laziness hits.  I decide I've earned a day of rest.  The next week, I take two days.  Soon I'm happily spending my exercise time lounging on the couch knitting.  And as much as I've tried, there's no way knitting on the couch counts as a workout.

I think the key in sticking to a workout routine is to find things that feel like fun, not exercise.   No matter how lazy I get, I know I'm guaranteed a 45 minute workout each week.  How, you ask?

(That's me and Pea at a team competition between our dance studios.
Not the best picture, but the only one I have of us dancing together.)
In 2004, when Pea and I were planning our wedding, we decided to take ballroom dancing classes.  To our surprise, when the 6-week program was finished, we both liked it so much we decided to continue.  The more dance technique we learn, the better the workout is.  Obviously, fast dances like my personal favorites, swing and cha-cha, really get the blood pumping.  But surprisingly, smooth dances are also a real workout if you do them correctly.  (Not that we do - but we're trying.)  The rise-and-fall of a good waltz takes a lot of muscle control in your legs and core.  Just holding the proper dance frame takes strength - head back and left, shoulders back, chest lifted,  back arched (but not arched too much), weight on one foot, and arms extended to open the frame.  Then you've got to really reach with your legs to create the big, swoopy movement - which gets your heart-rate pumping as much as a walk on the treadmill.  Oh, and do this in four-inch heels without letting any part of that crazy dance frame crumble.  Yeah, not so easy!!

Not so easy . . . but so much fun!  And so much exercise.  My blood sugars following a dance lesson always rock!  And when Dancing with the Star hit the air-waves a year after we started our lessons, dancing ballroom became almost cool!  So, if you are struggling to get motivated for your workouts, why not think about what activities you can do that feel like fun instead of exercise?  It's a sneaky way to trick your body into a workout without even realizing it.


  1. LOVE the photo!!!
    So cool that you both love to dance. You look great!

    I've always wanted to learn. Maybe one day.

    Here's to dancing, amateur or not!

  2. wooo dancing! its so awesome that you have something fun to do together like that.

    i've never had a partner willing....but i rock a line dance haha

    it sounds like you don't hate to exercise at all...you just have to tweak the definition a little bit.

  3. I LOVE it!! I must admit, I am a pretty huge fan of dancing myself...but most of the time it is just in short spurts around the living room! What a great, fun idea AND I LOVE that you do it together! How absolutely neat!

    How do I talk my husband into doing this??? :)

  4. That's a great photo! I can't imagine how I'd ever convince my husband to do that. Exercise is my last hurdle. Not sure how I'll ever get past that one.

  5. Great photo and wonderful smiles! You make it look like fun.

  6. I LOVE swing dancing! I took lessons with the swing club on campus two semesters ago, but I haven't continued... :\
    And that's absolutely awesome that your hubby enjoys dancing, too! - I only hope that if/when I find a S.O., they will share my love of dance :)

  7. How cool! You look like you are having fun! Thanks for sharing the picture. :)


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