Monday, June 16, 2008

Move That Body!

Never let the music make you feel lazy
Get on the dance floor, feelin' that backbeat
You never had it so good, you never had it so sweet
Raise your hands up in the air
Shake your derriere like you just don't care
Rockin', rollin', doin' it steady
I do believe y'all are ready to move that body
Move that body, baby

-Technotronic "Move That Body"

B. Good over at She's Opinionated got me thinking with this comment on one of her Weight Watchers Wednesday posts. So far she's lost over forty pounds and counting but knows she has to move her body in order to keep the scale going down.

I hate gyming. I actually have plenty of time to do it, but I still don’t go. And I have this thing about sweating. I hate to do it. So I have to find ways to absentmindedly move my body, so I don’t realize that I’m “working out” and burning calories.

B is not alone. A lot of women feel the same way for various reasons. Big box gyms can be such meat markets. Sweat and permed hair are not a perfect combination. Who has the time? The machines can be so boring.

Over the years, I've given all these excuses and more for not moving my body. However, I realized that the key was to find something that didn't feel like a chore. I had to think of it as my personal time where I was doing something that was good for me...but also something I actually enjoyed.

I started out swimming laps. I've always been in love with the water, learning to swim at an early age. By the time I had my surgery, I had gone natural so I didn't have my hair to worry about.

I walked - but not on a stationary treadmill or around and around an endless track. I walked through the woods and around bodies of water - anywhere scenic. I made an exercise playlist on my IPOD and I moved my body to the music.

I knew the key was not to let my body get used to any one exercise. I had to use different muscle groups. I had to keep myself from getting bored. Here's some of the things I tried:

  • Jazzercise: a 60-minute class incorporating cardio, strength, and stretch moves for a total body workout. We’ve taken moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, kick-boxing, and resistance training and bundled them into one hour. All ages, levels, and sizes welcome. I've tried this once or twice and it's quite a workout. You can find it hard to keep up at the beginning but they do offer a very good tutorial on the site to help you learn the core moves before you attend the first class.

  • Strip Aerobics: This is probably one of the best workouts I've ever had. I leave every class exhausted and sore for days afterwards. I prefer the floor/chair class so I've never done the pole workout. I've seen women of all sizes doing both classes. I find that you tend to bond with the other women in the class as you struggle through! It's a fun struggle though...if that makes sense.

  • Bellydancing: This is also another form of exercise I've only tried a few times. I never could figure out how to isolate my movements. I think I'm going to try again though because I find it such a sensual form of exercise and it's great for the abs - definitely my problem area.

I'm also interested in trying hand dancing and a hip hop dance class in the near future.

What alternative, fun ways are you finding to move your body?

Vivrant Thang blogs about live, love and music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.


Fitness Goddess said...

I'm trying to sign up for a West African dance class here in Chicago. I took one in undergrad and it was so much fun!

t.s. johnson said...

Ah come on. Do the pole workout;-)

Anonymous said...

I really like barre work (ballet), yoga, and tai chi. I also have once more started doing rebounding (jumping/joggin on a mini-trampoline) a couple of times a week too. In my experience I am able to break a sweat quicker rebounding than by running a treadmill.