Be honest, when you think cardio do you think of sore legs, wishing you’d just slept in that day and being sweaty…everywhere? It can feel like a nightmare when you’re getting started and even if you try to avoid doing it, cardio exercises always seem to slip into our workout routines.
Many trainers or guides use cardio exercises like brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming or rowing to help get your heart rate up and keep your breathing rate in the moderate-to-vigorous intensity level for 10 minutes or more. Its exhausting! And if you’re anything like me and you hate running or riding a bike at the gym that doesn’t go anywhere, here’s what I do to get my cardio in – I promise it’s fun!
Yep that’s right – dance. If you go to a dance or Zumba class these run from 45 minutes to an hour and it is pure cardio. Dancing is a whole-body workout that’s actually fun. It’s good for your heart, it will make you stronger, and it can help with your balance and coordination. A 30-minute dance class burns between 130 and 250 calories – that’s about the same as jogging. Plus if you go with your friends, you get a laugh out of it!
I know that open classes can be daunting but trust me, they’re so much fun. Being surrounded by professionals can pop your confidence bubble, but the awesome thing about the New Zealand dance community is that it is encouraging. Everyone is there for their own reasons, whether it’s for fun, exercise or practice. There is no judgement. Dance is used to express emotion and create works of art, and you my dear are a masterpiece! Do your thing, move your booty and raise that heart rate.
Dance of any style targets many point of the body, strengthening, toning, and ultimately building up power. These areas include:
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- Core: Yes. Depending on the type of dance you choose, some of the steps/moves will engage the core muscles.
- Arms: Yes. Although most dances focus on your lower body, you’re also using your arms.
- Legs: Yes. The choreography will have you doing moves that work your lower body, including your quads and hamstrings.
- Glutes: Yes. Hip hop dancing and ballet include moves that engage the glutes.
- Back: Yes. Dance uses your core muscles, including those in your back.
- Flexibility: Yes. Most dance-inspired workouts include moves that improve flexibility.
- Aerobic: Yes. Dancing raises your heart rate. The more up-tempo the dance style, the better it is for your heart.
- Strength: Yes. You won’t be lifting weights, but your body weight counts, helping to build muscle strength.
- Low-Impact: Yes. Dancing can be a high-or low-impact workout depending on the style of dancing.
And if you are wanting to stick with the adults many dance studios offer an adult class in their schedule. These run like any other class with fees, terms, holidays, and they run at the same time and with the same teacher.
Studios can offer many different classes
A low impact and fun class: Jazz Funk
Medium Impact: Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Jazz
Impact: Ballet, Lyrical
If you are looking for a more sporadic dance experience many studios offer a 1-off class price as well as choreographers offering open pop up classes.
If classical dance is more your thing, studios or organisations offer ballroom classes for adults ranging from the Tango, Jive or Foxtrot, to the Waltz. Find a partner and boogie on!
Written by Sophia Ivory
Curly hair and she don’t care, this stylish babe plays by her own rules. With a love for dance and all things body positive, you’ll usually find her searching out the latest fashion trends and digging through local thrift stores. Word of warning, don’t bring your dachshund around her, she’ll want to keep it.
Check out her Instagram for all things goals! @sophiaivory