Dance through the Holidays

By Kim Watters, Fitness Manager

niadanceHere come the holidays, and I am determined to avoid that 5-8 pound holiday weight gain. My intention is to make them healthier; there for, happier by dance, dance, dancing my way through them.

Many Americans, like me, have been inspired by and are tuning in to the highly popular dance shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Americas got Talent.” These shows remind us that dancing is fun and entertaining; it allows us to socialize and it helps us to fight off those unwanted pounds. In fact, dancing has many health benefits.

The Mayo Clinic researchers reported that social dancing helps to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase energy
  • Improve strength
  • Increase muscle tone and coordination

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) say that dancing can:

  • Lower your risk of coronary heart disease
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Help you manage your weight
  • Strengthen the bones of your legs and hips

In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine published a 21-year study that found dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.

Fortunately for us, now that dancing is growing in popularity we have many more options to get us out on the dance floor. We can find dance lessons for adults in almost every dance studio: Ballroom, Salsa, Tap, Ballet, Square dancing...

Most fitness clubs have a variety of fitness dance classes: Cardio Salsa, Hip Hop, Nia, Belly Dancing, Ballet workouts, Striptease…

If you like to keep things more private there are hundreds of dance DVD’s you can purchase. You can even learn Bollywood dance routines in your own living room.

The truth is the holidays are not a good time for weight loss and dieting; there are just too many obstacles that may lead to failure. Instead, we should set a goal of maintaining weight and enjoying the season. So forget the excuses, get inspired, and join me in dance, dance, dancing your way through the Holidays. It’s the perfect time.

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Core Strengthening Exercise

Side Bends
Hold both arms over your head, lace your fingers together and keep your arms straight. Gently bend towards the left moving your ribcage towards your hip bone and lift your hip bone up towards your ribcage. Return back to center and repeat to the right side (8-12 repetitions).

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Exercise to Re-Energize Your Day

Water bottle weights: Use full water bottles as weights to increase the difficulty of your work out. You can do bicep curls, side raises, and upper back squeezes with water bottles.

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Weight Loss Tip: Relax

You can’t force your body to lose fat. By being stressed over weight loss – you make it harder to lose the fat. The negative stress causes an increase in adrenaline hormones, such as cortisol.

Take a loving, kind approach to a fitness plan. Focus on following a healthy plan that includes the right amount of food and exercise from day to day. The weight loss will just happen if you are faithfully following your plan.

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