Health 101 – Rhythm Divine
Why exercise when you can have fun? Exercise is a critical necessity in our lives for countless reasons (which we delve into in a future article), but that doesn’t mean it has to be a tedious chore. Throughout our relationship here in Agenda I will make sure to cover a plethora of exercise methods, as there is no “Universal Workout” for everyone. It is really about what makes you happy. In this article we explore the monumental benefits of dance on your overall life and not just your waist. You see, the idea is to enjoy exercise. This is crucial because it ensures that you will do it again. Studies have shown that most individuals will stick to a program or plan for an average of eight weeks at most before they give up and move on. I personally would attribute this to the individuals simply not enjoying what they are doing, which is fine. You will never find me telling you about a master plan that every single person should do because there is no such thing. A master plan is one that is compiled based on your personality. Weight loss is simple usage of stored energy (those pesky pounds) and you accomplish this by exerting yourself. So why not exert with a beaming smile, lights in the sky, ambiance in the air, and music stimulating your senses?
Studies have shown that one night of vibrant twirling on the dance floor can shave over 1000 calories, ladies. A third of a pound in exchange for a night of fun . . . hmmm . . . let me think about that one. This is what I would love to open your eyes to, taking your workout, well . . . out! If you would like to know how many calories you burn during various other exercises, you can visit caloriecontrol.org. Dancing is one of the highest calorie burns around and, in my opinion, one of the most beneficial. The bigger picture is that dancing helps to destroy stress, which is a plague upon our busy lives. Stress puts our bodies in self defense mode, which affects our moods, our performance in our daily lives, as well as our waist size. High stress leads to your body releasing high levels of cortisol into your system, which means more closet time for your little black dress (article on stress to come). Remember that your body is not trying to give you a hard time. It is simply protecting itself, so let us work with it. Dancing reverses this whole ugly chain of events. Not a bad deal, wouldn’t you say?
Let me put this all in perspective for you. One night of vigorous dancing (2-3 hours of semi-constant movement) can burn approximately 600-1000 calories, based on your weight and how much you’re moving, of course. One pound of fat is 3500 calories, so that dazzling night of lights and feverish flavor just shaved off nearly a third of a pound with a huge smile on your face if you made an effort to move. Now, here is the bonus to all that twirling and laughing. I call it the “after burn.” Let’s reminisce if you will. I want you to go back to that one night where the drinks were flowing, the company was superb, every song was your song, and life just coursed through your every fiber. Remember how sore you felt the next day from all that dancing? Well, that’s the “after burn.” You see, your body isn’t done working once you stop dancing. In fact, the work has just begun. Your body needs now to repair the muscles you just beat up from all your frivolity. You are now burning significantly more calories that night because your body is repairing the muscles while you sleep. You are burning higher fat while you sleep! Can it get any better than that? Well, actually it can, not to mention that from a good enough “workout” your metabolism is naturally heightened by up to 30% for the next three days as your body continues to do repairs from that one night.
Wow, do I really need to go on? To sum that all up, one night of fun equals nearly 900 calories, plus extra fat burned while you sleep, plus 30% metabolic boost for the next three days equals a grand total of anywhere between 1400-2000 calories burned from one night of fun. Please make a note not to forget about the crucial stress release you get from all this, which will really benefit your life all around by making you become more productive, sleep better, and enhance your moods and relationships overall. If you are not sold by now, then I quit. You see, the concept is to personalize exercise so that it becomes a way of life. If you find your niche, you might not need to “exercise” another day in your life. Wow, what a modern concept! I say it’s time for us to take back our health by personalizing fitness to suit our passions, not what they tell us. I propose a toast to heavenly curves and a long healthy life with a smile on our faces! Cheers!
* All information from this article is taken from Fitness: The Complete Guide. Frederick C. Hatfield, PhD – Edition 8.6.6 735pgs, International Sports Science Association.