Feelin’ Footloose

Since I can remember I have hated working-out.   Spending 30 minutes on the treadmill feels like  I am living in a science experiment.   Back in high school and college I didn’t mind going to the gym.   I actually went there religiously. But, I never really liked being there.   I went to the gym because I thought that was what adults did to stay healthy.  As I got older I stopped going to the gym as frequently (what a surprise!).  Then, one day a switch flipped in my brain;  I can’t stand the gym anymore! The smell of sweat makes me nauseous and the thought of sitting on a machine and staring at CNN for an hour makes me want to run in the other direction (well at least it motivates some sort of movement?).  My saving grace is that I love exercising outdoors when it’s sunny and warm.   I could hike, swim or play volleyball for hours during the summer.  The problem is that during the winter I am a grade A couch potato.

Recently, I have been trying to find ways to increase my exercise.  I  have bought an entire library of workout DVD’s, some of which are great (I would highly recommend anything with Jillian Michaels).  But, still the thought of dedicating myself to a 45 minute long workout to the same DVD’s over and over again just seems unnatural and unfulfilling… which definitely goes against my new balanced life mantra.   In the past few weeks however, I have been trying to incorporate spurts of exercise throughout my day.  Sometimes I stretch while watching TV, I take my dog on long walks, pop on a Do You Yoga video, or I do a few crunches between various daily activities.   All of these have really been helping me to feel better and I definitely have noticed a difference in my overall strength.  But, my absolute favorite new addition to my workout routine has been dancing.  Just starting a playlist on my computer or phone for about ten minutes while I dance around the apartment has completely overhauled my outlook on exercise.

At first, just the thought of dancing around my apartment made me feel silly.  I’m here to tell you something.  It is one of the most fun and liberating ways to sneak in a workout.  Honestly,  it is so much fun it doesn’t even feel like a workout until you turn off the music and realize that you  are out of breath.  The first time I tried this I threw on a friend’s spotify mix and jumped around my apartment (most certainly looking like somebody managing to stand up while having a seizure.)   My pets looked entirely confused and came over to investigate this apparent medical emergency, and sitting by my feet (I can only assume they were hoping to set up a barricade between me and their beloved food bowl).  I have since had to block off an area of the room so that I don’t accidentally end up kicking them, tripping over them, or falling on top of them… but that isn’t going to stop me.  This is the best workout discovery I have ever made.   Everyday that I have incorporated my ten minute dance sessions into routine I have felt healthier, brighter, and less stressed.  Dancing is definitely in my life to stay.

In my last post I said that I would update this blog with more specific health goals. Well…

Goal #1:  Dance like nobody’s watching (cats and dogs not included).

~ Abby

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