By Julie Alvira, MD, MBA
In a few months the year will end and then comes that time again to do a brand new New Year’s resolutions list. If last year you wrote down to do more exercise, my question is, “Have you done it?” If your answer is “yes,” way to go. If your answer is “no,” no worries, you still have time. It is never too late to get into a healthier and active lifestyle.
We all know that the combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training is best but there are a lot of people who are more inclined to take cardio classes. The rule to follow is to feel good and great about what you are doing and most of all enjoy it. Nowadays, it can get boring just to be on a treadmill, bike, or the elliptical for 45 minutes. The reason why fun cardio classes were created was so that you can mix and match your cardio workout and still sweat and burn calories. Most of the trendy classes at gyms incorporate dance movements, which make for a hip time where you can lose yourself, have fun, and still exercise the most important organ––the heart. Let us remember that according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death. By taking care of our hearts, we take care of ourselves and learn cool dance moves.
“If you do cardio one day and next day you do weights, do it that way. If you need to do it at night or in the morning, do it that way. Whatever you need to get it done, just get it done.”
––LL Cool J
Benefits of Cardio Dance Workouts
According to the American Council of Exercise (ACE), dancing is a very good form of aerobic exercise that not only helps control weight but also decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLB) notes that dance also helps improve bone density (reduced risk of osteoporosis), provides muscle strength, and improves coordination and balance. Among the emotional benefits, dancing helps reduce stress, improves mood, and increases energy and self-esteem, thus resulting in an increase in the inner confidence of the person. Studies in the New England Journal of Medicine show that dance helps slow the aging of memory and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Which cardio dance workout to choose?
- Zumba incorporates basic aerobic dance moves with low intensity and low level of exercise. Some instructors can add squats, lunges, and even martial arts movements. At high intensity, it can burn 500–800 calories.
- Power Rhythm works upper/lower body and abdominal muscles. It incorporates dance movements but also boxing techniques and the use of dumbbells. It combines different music genres such as merengue, reggaeton, hip hop, and salsa with routines that also teach the person how to dance to these genres. Burns up 600–1,000 calories.
- Vixen workout is a hip-hop cardio dance workout inspired by the nightclub scene. There’s a lot of intense moving and toning while a gal can lose herself in the choreography, music, and fun. 400–600 calories.
- Body Jam incorporates different dance styles such as Latin, hip-hop, house, and several others to burn fat and build lean muscle. The idea here is to have freedom of movement. 400–600 calories.
- Pound is an exciting jam class inspired by drumming. During this workout, a person gets energized by playing the Ripstix (weighted drumsticks), which helps tone the core, arms, and allows the body to get off- balance while using a stabilization system. It’s no piece of cake! 400–500 calories.
- Piloxing is a class with weighted gloves. Incorporating Pilates, boxing, and dance, it develops in intervals for a high-energy class and calorie burn. 400–600 calories.
The whole idea of cardio dance is to love your body and how it moves to the music. As you can see, it doesn’t matter what type of cardio dance you choose, the important thing is for you to have fun and freedom while you express joy and happiness.
Julie Alvira, M.D., MBA Healthcare Management creator of AJBodysculpt. www.ajbodysculpt.com. A health, wellness, and fitness platform that provides you with the necessary tools to get into a healthier lifestyle. Health & Wellness Speaker/ Corporate Wellness Consulting/ Coaching/ Writer. You can see her fitness videos in Youtube: AJBodysculpt. Contact: email@example.com.