Are you tired of hearing the pleas to get out there and exercise for your health? Yeah, I know. While I happen to be one of those people who actually likes going to a gym, I know so many people who say that's boring, tedious, mind-numbing work.
Lest you take me for a total hero, there are plenty of days when I do have to push myself to go. I'm not always rah-rah … but I get through (usually) by reminding myself I'll leave there feeling much better than when I walked in.
Just because it might be tough to get out there and invade the gym, that doesn't give you license to play couch potato. Or, if it's too late and you're already playing couch potato, how about getting up the next time Dancing With the Stars is on and joining in?
Dancing, studies show, has many advantages for your body and mind. Step by step, here's what dancing can do for you:
- Shed pounds
- Strengthen your bones
- Increase your aerobic fitness and flexibility
- Increase your muscular strength
- Improve your muscle tone, balance and endurance
- Improve cardiovascular condition
- Protect against dementia
- Reduce stress and depression
- Increase energy
- Strengthen your immune system
Think about it: have you ever seen anyone frowning while dancing?
While visiting the award-winning spa Rancho La Puerta I got in touch with my inner child by immersing myself in the various dance classes they offered. Dancing brought back that long-forgotten joy I experienced years ago by letting loose and allowing my feet and rhythm guide me.
With the myriad and countless choices at The Ranch, I was reminded that there is way more than just the gym to get fit and feel good. "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls," said American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell, in a very fitting quote that is posted on the spa's website.
Do something you love while getting fit. Have fun! Play volleyball or other team sport. Splash in the pool, settle down on a yoga mat and stretch your body. Pick up a tennis racket or even a hula hoop; go for a hike or tour your own city; take on tai chi; beat a drum; pick up some weights; hop on a bike; get dirty in your garden or challenge yourself to a half-marathon. Even the drudgery of housework can be a workout if you put on your sneakers and turn up some energizing music while you vacuum and scrub!
You might also want to read:
My Very First Half-Marathon!
Rebooting Your Exercise Routine
How Realistic Are Your Exercise and Weight-Loss Goals?