Crank up the tunes, because it’s time to lose weight—the super fun way!
20 years of dance lessons (thanks mom and dad!) and I can definitely vouch for the kick-butt work-out you will get, not to mention all the F-U-N you will have taking a dance class.
Dancing as an aerobic workout can be one of the most effective ways of releasing stubborn pounds. [pullquote]The benefits of dancing as a workout far outweigh the physical results; you’ll also end up feeling like a million bucks after each of your dedicated dance sessions.[/pullquote]
Speaking of sessions, in order for you to lose weight using this method, you’ll need to carve out a specific time to dance. Select music that makes you want to groove (and isn’t too slow—find an online metronome and choose songs that are between 100-112 beats), find a comfortable outfit that doesn’t impede your movement, commit to moving your entire body, and make a 30-40 minute dance date 4-5 times per week.
A hugely popular way many get their dance on, Zumba class is done in a group setting at a gym. A cross between aerobics and dance, Zumba incorporates different kinds of choreography—from salsa and merengue to hip-hop and martial arts—and throws in weight-bearing surprises such as squats and lunges. The music is extremely up-tempo and the teachers can make or break the class, which typically runs for 1 hour, but this is an excellent choice if you feel you need the group setting to get you to take action to dance.
Dance Video Games —
If you don’t have any interest in working out with others or you don’t belong to a gym, another fun way of logging your dance workout is by hooking up your PS2 or Wii and “playing” along with the games Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance (respectively). These games allow you to select the style of dance and song and then you follow along to match the choreography on screen to burn calories galore.
Barre Class —
Barre class is a newer craze modeled after ballet. In this class, the workout is more anaerobic and focused towards toning and strengthening than getting your heart rate up, but it can deliver phenomenal results if you stick with it over time and combine it with a healthy eating regimen.
Conscious Dance or Yoga Dance —
These classes are normally held at yoga studios or spiritual centers, and are facilitated by teachers who will guide you through a totally free-form dance experience designed to help you really let loose and listen to your body. These classes are definitely not positioned as workout classes, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a significant burn going once you surrender to the music.
Of course, another totally legitimate option is to merely crank the tunes and dance around your house! Involve your kids or use the time to dedicate solely to yourself. Either way, it’ll be hard to find a more enjoyable method of staying fit, toned, and slim.