10 Minute Cardio Dance Abs Workout: Burn to the Beat- Keaira LaShae
How to Add Dance to Your Fitness Routine
Cardiovascular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. These types of heart-pumping aerobic exercises can help you lose or maintain weight, reduce your risk of stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes, improve your mood and strengthen your bones and muscles.However, many typical exercises like jogging or using the elliptical can get boring and mundane over time. Instead of getting fed up with your typical exercise routine, consider adding some dancing or dance classes to your fitness routine. Dancing is a fun and social way to work out and may even help you enjoy your fitness routine a little more.
Fitting Dancing Into Your Routine
Take a class.When you're starting a new form of exercise, you have the option of going to an exercise class (like at a gym) or local fitness center. These classes are lead by trained instructors are a good place for beginners
- Many gyms do offer some dance classes. You'll frequently find Zumba or Barre classes at gyms or fitness centers. However, some community centers or gyms may offer a larger variety.
- These classes are usually a part of your gym membership. The classes are not an extra cost and you can go as often as you'd like.
Purchase a dance DVD.If you do not have a gym membership or a fitness center that offers exercise dance classes, you may want to consider using a dance DVD at home. They're convenient and allow you to exercise anytime of day.
- You can find a huge selection of DVD's that offer many different types and styles of aerobic dancing. Read reviews of the DVD's so you get a good idea of what's included.
- Look for DVD's that offer a video just on basic moves and instructions. Many dance moves can be hard to get down if you haven't done them before. Watching it in slow motion and having someone walk you through it will be beneficial.
- There are even some apps that you can download to your smart phone or tablet that allow you to watch exercise videos anywhere. These are great if you're on the go or do not have a DVD player.
Go to a dance club or restaurant.Outside of the gym or at home dancing DVD's you may even enjoy going out dancing. Whether it's a club, restaurant or dance studio, you may have more fun showing off your moves in public.
- If you find that you're really enjoying dancing not just as a workout, but as a fun social event, consider finding local clubs or bars that offer dancing. You can go with friends, family or a spouse and enjoy spending the night dancing.
- Even though you may not be wearing your tennis shoes, a night of dancing is still a great workout and will fit well into your fitness routine.
- Typical types of dancing you'll find out of the gym include: salsa dancing, ballroom dancing, line dancing and hip hop.
Incorporating Specific Types of Dances
Try Zumba.Zumba is a popular latin-inspired dance class. It's offered at a wide variety of gyms and fitness centers. It's great for all fitness levels and dance abilities.
- Since Zumba has become so popular, it should be fairly easy to find a class near you. Most gyms offer a Zumba class, but there are also online videos and DVDs you can purchase as well.
- Zumba is great for those who don't feel comfortable dancing. During each song you start with one move and then continuously add on to the initial move. You learn through repetition in this particular class.
- Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that allows you to have a full range of motion in your arms and legs. Also bring a water bottle to sip on. Most instructors will allow you to have a 30-60 second break between songs.
Go to a ballet or barre class.A newer dance class that has arrived on the fitness scene is ballet or barre classes (which are ballet-inspired dance classes). Look for a local barre or ballet studio to find classes.
- Ballet and barre classes focus on small movements that help strengthen and tone your muscles. This is a great combination to get a cardio and strength workout.
- Barre and ballet classes are perfect for anyone regardless of size, age or fitness level. It's even great for those with joint problems or women who are pregnant since its a low impact exercise.
- For ballet and barre classes, wear fitted clothing. Baggy clothing can inhibit your movements. No-skid socks or ballet flats are appropriate foot wear for these classes.
Take ballroom or Latin dance lessons.If you want to learn a specific dance style and workout, consider taking dance lessons. Whether you're doing the waltz or the samba, dance lessons are a great form of exercise.
- Look online for a local dance studio, dance lessons at a community center or even look into private dance lessons where you can learn your desired style of dance.
- There are no specific clothing requirements for ballroom or latin-inspired dancing - just something that's comfortable for you. However, you should have shoes that have a slippery bottom and do not have tread. This allows your foot to slide through the positions more easily.
- Don't avoid dance lessons if you don't have a partner. Many group lessons include many people who just want to learn to dance and do not have a partner. Don't let this discourage you from trying.
Try hip hop classes.If you're looking for an upbeat and modern form of dance, consider trying hip hop classes. Some gym classes encompass parts of hip hop moves (like Zumba classes), but if this is something you enjoy, consider taking a hip hop class.
- Hip hop dance encompasses many freestyle movements in addition to popular moves commonly featured in music videos. It may seem a little complicated, but it allows students to put their own spin on it.
- Any type of comfortable clothing is appropriate for a hip hop class. You can wear something more fitted or a little looser and baggy. Wear tennis or athletic sneaks with cushioning for this class as well.
- Bring water and a small towel as you might get more sweaty than you think when taking a hip hop dance class.
Choose belly dancing.If you want to try a fun and exciting method of dancing, consider taking belly dancing lessons. These are great for anyone regardless of their age, size or fitness level.
- Belly dancing is a great core workout. It will help strengthen your core by having you exert a lot of control over your pelvic region, core and back muscles. This type of dancing also helps tone your glutes and thighs.
- There is no specific clothing required for belly dancing. Some people do wear cropped tops, but if you're not comfortable wearing that type of outfit you do not have to. In addition, shoes are generally not worn during the actual dance lessons.
- Belly dancing lessons may be difficult to find. Look online for a dance studio that offers them or look for private lessons.
Starting a Dance Class or Routine
Wear the appropriate type of clothing.Like every type of workout or exercise, it's important to wear the correct type of clothing. This will make sure you're the most comfortable during your dance class or lesson.
- In general, you should wear an outfit that is movable and doesn't restrict you in anyway. You should be able to easily move your arms and legs in any direction.
- Also wear clothing that wicks sweat away - especially to more fast-paced dancing (like Zumba or salsa dancing).Many dance classes at gyms will be in an aerobic room that may heat up quickly and stay hot.
- Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. For many gym-based classes you want to wear a supportive tennis sneaker. Other forms of dancing like ballet, may require no shoes or specialty shoes which you will need to purchase.
- Since there are a variety of types of dancing, research or call the dance studio. Try to find out what's appropriate for the specific type of dance class you'll be attending.
Stretch before and after dancing.Like many different types of exercise, make sure to stretch before and after. For dancing specifically, do a light stretch before and a longer stretch afterwards.
- Dancing requires a lot of movement from all different parts of your body. If you start a dance class with "cold muscles" you may not be as limber and may increase your risk of injury.
- Do light stretching of your neck, arms, legs and back prior to starting your dance class. You may even want to do some shoulder rolls or head rolls to get you limber.
- After you've completed your dancing session, spend more time stretching each major muscle group thoroughly. Focus on your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, back, shoulders and arms.
Consider going with a friend.Doing a new dance class or taking dance lessons can be intimidating. Consider going with a friend or family member instead of by yourself.
- Studies have shown that if you go to a workout with a friend or family member, you're more likely to stick with your routine and not miss a workout.
- In addition, other studies have shown that working out with a friend helps you build confidence in yourself and help you believe that you can accomplish a workout.
- Ask co-workers, friends, family members or your significant other if they'd like to go dancing with you or take a dance class.
Be patient with yourself.Dance classes can be difficult and tricky to get down when you get started. Be patient with yourself as you learn new moves and incorporate this fun method of exercising into your routine.
- When you first start a new dance style, you may notice its hard to memorize all the moves and move fluidly through all the poses. That's normal and to be expected so don't quit or beat yourself up over it.
- The more you practice the moves, the easier they'll become. You won't have to think so hard about where you put your feet.
- Remember, when you're dancing try to keep it light and fun. Don't worry about making mistakes or not knowing the moves. It's just about getting out there an enjoying your workout.
Meeting Weekly Fitness Recommendations
Aim for 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly.Dancing can be a great form of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise. However, make sure that you're including enough dance classes or other forms of exercise to meet your weekly needs for activity.
- Health professionals recommend that healthy adults strive to get a minimum of 150 minutes or about 2 1/2 hours of cardiovascular activity each week.
- You should aim to make these activities moderate intensity. That means you're working hard enough to break a sweat and should be sightly out of breath.
- Other activities outside of dancing that can count towards your aerobic goal are: walking, jogging, swimming, using the elliptical or taking a spin class.
Add in 1-2 days of strength training.In addition to all of your dancing and other aerobic activities, include regular amounts of strength training as well.
- Strength training is important to do in addition to cardio because it offers a different set of health benefits. Strength training activities help strengthen your bones, build and maintain lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism.
- Health professionals recommend including at least 1 or 2 days of strength training activities each week. You need to work every major muscle group and be working out for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Most dancing doesn't count as strength training. However, activities like lifting weights, using weight machines, pilates or yoga do count.
Include adequate amounts of lifestyle activity.In addition to your aerobic dancing and strength training, also try to include some lifestyle activity. These activities can also help keep you active and support a healthy lifestyle.
- Lifestyle activities are those you do on a typical daily basis. Anything from walking out to get the mail, vacuuming the floor, weeding the garden or parking far away count as lifestyle activities.
- Although these types of activities do no burn many calories by themselves, a whole day of them can add up to quite a bit. Plus, they come with similar benefits to structured cardiovascular activities.
- In addition to your dancing classes, try to be more active throughout the day. Think of when you could take more steps or move more throughout the day. Even a little dance session on your lunch break in your office gets you moving more!
- Dancing is a great aerobic activity to add to your fitness routine. It can be a more enjoyable activity and help encourage you to stick with exercise more often.
- Dancing can be difficult to get down initially, but keep practicing and you'll get the hang of it!
- Try a variety of different dance styles and classes to find one that you enjoy the most.
Video: 30-Minute Cardio-Dance modelFIT Workout
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