Too often people think they have to go to the gym and do a specific routine to get the benefit of exercise. While a focused routine specifically to address your deficiencies and needs is important, you can get exercise other ways too. After all, exercise is one means to get you healthy enough to live an active lifestyle. Many of my clients come to workout three times a week with me, but on other days, they participate in hobbies and pastimes that get their blood pumping. They don’t consider it as exercise, even though it is, but as the reason they exercise. You can do any type of activity, but I find that when you dance to workout, you get huge benefits you might not expect, no matter what type of dance you choose.
Dancing is a good cardio exercise.
While running for the same amount of time as dancing will burn more calories and bring greater cardio benefits, dancing is still good. In fact, it’s better than jogging. If you took a 30-minute dance workout class, it would burn anywhere between 130 and 250 calories, which is approximately the same as dancing. The difference comes in the actual amount of exercise you get. If you go to a dance club and dance every song in the set, staying standing between songs, you’ll get at least 40 minutes of workout for each set. That’s far more time working out than you’d get in a dance workout and probably more than you’d be able to tolerate jogging. It’s also just one hour of the normal time spent in a club.
Dancing improves your flexibility and range of motion.
When you dance, you’re training your muscle groups to do specific types of movements. The movements may be repetitive, but often they’re not and encourage the muscles to work in a number of different ways. It’s important to stretch your muscles before you dance. Of course, you have to try new things and work toward a more difficult level of dance. The longer you dance, the more you’ll notice that you can stretch further and further. If you’ve ever watched a dancer and thought, “Wow, I can’t do that and if I did, I would hurt forever.” The truth is that you can’t do that right now, but with continued practice, anything is possible.
You don’t have to go to a dance club or a gym to dance.
One of the best parts of dancing is that you can do it anywhere. If the weather is too hot to run or rainy, you can turn on the music and dance in the living room. If you’re too tired to start a run, sometimes turning on the music and moving to the music is far easier. Music provides the incentive to move that is more powerful than the thought of jogging through the neighborhood. In fact, just 15 minutes of dancing can get your blood flowing and prepare you for your morning run.
- Dancing improves muscle strength and can help prevent osteoporosis, since it’s a good weight bearing exercise.
- Dancing can burn calories and be part of your weight management program.
- There are many types of dancing, each with its own benefits. For instance, ballet focuses on muscle strength and flexibility, while fast dancing to popular music or salsa dancing may provide more aerobic benefits.
- No matter what age you are, you can dance. Even slow dancing provides a great deal of exercise, particularly for those who are out of shape.
Life is really all about how you look at things. If you dread your daily workouts, you’ll find them increasingly difficult to get through and even harder to get started. However, if you focus on the positive side and think about the fact they’re creating a better you, it can make a huge difference in your desire to workout and the effort you put into that workout. Keeping focused on the strength you’re building, the final outcome and how good you’ll feel when you’ve finished the workout can make it all worthwhile.
Daily workouts don’t have to be in the gym.
Most people often spend only three to four days each week working out in this almost formalized workout setting. That’s good, but it doesn’t mean you should be a couch potato the rest of the week, lounging in front of the TV. Learning to live a more active lifestyle is what really keeps you fit. It doesn’t have to be a daily walk or run as your workout. Dance through the house while you’re cleaning, take the stairs instead of the elevator, tackle a home project that takes more energy than money to finish. All these things will keep you fit and remind you why a daily workout is good. You’ll get less tired and finish your tasks quicker.
Make sure you measure your progress for the biggest boost to your workout.
As a trainer, I track your progress so I know when to make the workout harder. However, if you’re looking for motivation, track progress at home, but do it differently. I have one client that decided to use physical tasks to improve his fitness. His first task was remodeling the spare “junk” room to create a usable space. It involved several weeks of going up and down ladders, carrying supplies, lifting and basically working out for several hours at a time. He logged how long he could work before requiring a rest. As that project finished and he started the next, he told me it was a real inspiration to finally go an hour and a half without feeling the need for a break.
Watch your complexion improve and bask in the compliments.
While daily exercise can help you tone your muscles and lose weight, it also has many other benefits. One of those is an improved complexion. Boosting your circulation comes with many benefits, including great benefits for skin. It sends oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all parts of the body, including the skin. That makes it healthier. It also helps flush away debris through sweat and clean your skin from the inside, making you look more youthful and also helping with adult acne. It gives you a glow that can make you look years younger.
- You’ll have more energy and feel fantastic at the end of the day.
- Even if your day is stressful, exercising regularly can be a great stress buster and leave you feeling good again. That also helps keep you more youthful looking and healthy.
- You’ll think faster. If you find yourself slowing down when it comes to mental tasks, start exercising. You’ll be amazed at how much it improves the mind.
- Daily tasks become far easier when you workout regularly. When you add up all the benefits of exercise and keep them in mind, it should make it easier to go to the gym or take a quick walk when you have the extra time.
Increasing your exercise helps reduce the risk of serious diseases and also helps you shed pounds faster. If you’re like many people in our country, your job is at a desk and often on the computer. It’s important to take frequent breaks to walk a bit and improve blood flow, but that’s not always possible, especially if you’re on a big project. The alternative is to have a standing desk. The best is one that converts from sitting to standing very quickly. Some of these are quite costly and the expense may not be justified by the benefits you receive. However, it doesn’t take much to build a standing desk and if you’re handy, you can even build one that is suitable for both standing and sitting.
How tall should it be?
You want the desk to be tall enough so that when you’re using your best posture, standing up straight, you can look at the screen and easily see the top third of it, since most of the time, that’s where your eyes are focused. It’s as though an imaginary line is drawn from your eyes straight to the screen top. If you hold your arms to your sides and bend them at the elbow to 90 degrees you should be able to lightly touch the keyboard.
Building a standing desk doesn’t have to be a complicated project.
If you want a simple project that costs under $60, a few pieces of wood, a reclaimed door or large piece of plywood, two saw horses, some paint, nails and a bit of effort can create a great standing desk that has the industrial décor look. The saw horses become the legs for the desk and the door or plywood is the top. The extra wood is to create shelves in the legs of the saw horse for storage. You can get a chair that is taller for the desk for those times you just need to take a break from standing or have more intense work that requires total focus.
Try a table on the wall.
A great idea that’s relatively inexpensive, just about the cost of dinner for two at an average restaurant, about $20. build a small table to go onto your desk. You need wall shelf brackets and wide shelving or premade desktops. Identify the ideal height of your standing desk. Measure twice (or more) to insure it’s the proper height. Screw in the shelf brackets and put on the desktop without permanently attaching it. Use a level to ensure it’s level and then attach it permanently. It takes less than an hour and costs very little. You can put this shelf above your regular desk.
- Use an Ikea lackside table for a tabletop desk. Simply use brackets to attach a Viktor shelf for the keyboard. It works best if you have two monitors and a program to switch the two.
- Check out one of the top shelves of a book case. This would require moving the monitor and keyboard and is best if you have a laptop.
- Scott Rumschlag has created plans for a wooden convertible standing table that uses counterweights. You have to be handy in the shop to create it, but with perseverance anything is possible. It costs about $30 to make.
- You may be tempted just to stack up some books for the monitor to set on and a stack for the keyboard. It’s okay to use to find the height for a project and maybe test it for a few days, but too wobbly over the long haul. You’re better off spending the $20-$30 dollars to see if you like a standing desk.