Dancing to Your Heart's Content
Cross Traing with
Cross training is a varied approach to sports and exercise. Limiting yourself to one activity can be, well limiting. If you're a runner only, what do you do in a long rainy spell? Or what if you get bored with the same old thing? There's one excellent exercise you may already know how to do, or perhaps have always wanted to do-ballroom dancing. Cheek-to-cheek stuff, Fred and Ginger.
"But, " you may ask, "is it really aerobic exercise?" Indeed it is, or can be. Exercise specialists have reported that at the competitive level, fast ballroom dancing can elevate your heart rate just as much as running cross-country skiing. A study conducted at California State University at Long Beach showed that even beginning students can derive health benefits from ballroom dancing. Forty-five subjects (aged 18 to 35) did a five minute warm up and then a 20 minute aerobic section with a cha-cha a polka, two swing dances (Jitterbug and Lindy), a Viennese waltz, and Samba . The great majority got their heart rates up to near maximum training rates, particularly in the polka, the swing, dancing and the waltz. As for caloric expenditures, even moderate ballroom dancing can burn between 250 and 300 calories per hour, and fast, vigorous dancing burns up-wards of 400 calories an hour.
key to these benefits is to stay on the floor at least 20 minutes and just keep
dancing. Most ballroom numbers are short, so you need a partner who'll stay on
the dance floor with you or a succession of partners. Since you'll be varying
your steps and movements, overuse injuries are unlikely. Do try to be smooth,
rhythmic, and gentle in your movements: most good dancers are. To get maximum
benefits, remember the following:
1. Stop every half hour or so to drink water, whether you feel thirsty or not. Proper hydration helps keep you going . And keep alcohol consumption to a minimum (or avoid alcohol entirely).
2. Wear comfortable clothing that wont be ruined by perspiration. Avoid tight underwear, tight belts and neckties, and shoes that hurt your feet, especially high heels. Aerobic shoes or tennis shoes are excellent for dancing-but not if you're planning on doing aerobic high steeping in the fanciest nightspot in town.
If you want to learn more about ballroom dancing, check the infomation regarding dance lessons and get enrolled in private lessons or group classes. You don't need a regular partner, both singles and couples are welcome.
So, have fun, roll back the carpet and practice at home. Dance with your best friend or give your cat a whirl around the floor!
Courtesy of U.C.Berkeley Wellness Letter