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Dance Your Way To Fitness

Dance Your Way To Fitness

The Sport England “This Girl Can” campaign was launched to encourage ordinary women to take up sport and exercise, dispelling the myth that fitness is only for those already fit, skilful and thin. Their TV campaign featured normal women really going for it, to a sound track of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” and included the taglines “I jiggle, therefore I am”, “Hot and not bothered” and “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”. The energising music underlined the message that exercise can be fun, and tapped into the fact that music makes us want to get moving and get happy, whatever our age or size.

So, if you’re an average woman who finds that conventional fitness classes like Spin and Insanity dont really appeal and you’re worried about being judged on your performance, why not pump up your motivation and try a dance-based exercise class instead?

· With all the fitness crazes that have come and gone, Zumba® seems to be the one that has been the most successful and that has stuck around for the longest. Originally invented by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez in the 1990s, Zumba combines Latin American dance moves, including hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo with aerobic elements, such as squats and lunges, all performed to infectious music with a strong rhythm.

zumba class full of different people

Especially appealing to women, Zumba offers a way of getting fit by having fun. Suitable for people of all shapes and sizes, Zumba’s a great cardio-based workout that helps sculpt and tone the body. So whether you’re a 17 year old, dressed in Day-Glo Lycra leggings and a stretchy bra top or a more average woman in baggy T-shirt and jogging bottoms, there’s a Zumba class for you.

There are no complicated moves to learn and you don’t have to be a great dancer. Dancing releases endorphins, the happiness hormones that give you a feeling of euphoria or natural high. Done together with friends in a non-judgemental setting, it can be a great laugh and truly addictive – in a good way.

· Street Dance offers a more edgy style, challenging your body in a multitude of different ways to jazz-infused pop rhythms, and offering the chance to get moving, improve your fitness and learn routines with attitude and swagger. Lose your inhibitions and gain confidence, develop your strength and balance, and improve your co-ordination and footwork. This is the sort of dance you see on pop videos and TV shows, and street dance classes will teach you to express yourself to your favourite music, making you a hit at parties and out clubbing.

pole dancing class

· Pole Dancing is a dance form that combines muscular strength and stamina, control, flexibility and grace, and gives you a great workout. It offers a superb way of getting fit and is empowering for women, increasing your body confidence as you progress and are able to do more fun moves and balances, using the pole for support and your own body weight as a resistance. Classes start with a gentle warm up and you learn at your own pace, encouraging your body to loosen up gradually. Pole dancing classes strengthen your core, increase your endurance and burn calories, building up choreographed routines in a safe and friendly environment.

As Strictly Come Dancing and its celebrity participants have demonstrated, dancing is a great way to lose weight and increase your poise and fitness. There are lots of other dance-based fitness classes you might try, from ballet to belly dancing to Burlesque, so grab a friend or two and have a go – you’ll hardly be aware of how many calories you’re burning as you join the dance party.

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