Let’s start by saying congratulations for getting through the last two months of lockdown, it’s been a difficult time but we’ll be out of it soon, at least that’s what BoJo says! And with that, we are also super excited about the opening of gyms again: to finally be able to lift heavy weights, to hear the loud music through the speakers, and to have the support of your teammates and gym partners again! Even though that is now within sight, it is still a few weeks ago, which means home workouts until then… I know personally, with the bad weather, it’s made it really difficult to go for runs (thankfully, it does look like it’s slowly turning into spring, but that means even more crowded areas and even more people running, making it difficult to completely zone out, which is one of the joys of long runs) and trying to find different combinations of body weight workouts in itself is boring, much less the lack of motivation from having to work out in a small room (see first Felix article about the difficulties of working out at home). And I’ve figured, since you’re reading this, you might be trying to find new ways of working out. So here is the newest exercise I’ve discovered: dance workouts. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, and the idea of dancing in your living room with people potentially watching is mortifying, but it is actually a really great cardio session and a lot of fun. This is slightly different from typical dance workouts like Zumba; I’m going more along the lines of Just Dance. You know when you’re at the gym, and a super hype song comes on and you want to dance just a little bit but feel quite silly about it? Well, this is a great way to keep doing your exercises but also get to dance a little bit. With dance workouts, you do the basic body weight exercises, but you do them in time with a song. Aside from finding new combinations of body weight exercises to do, it’s also a pretty good source of cardio. Since you’re constantly moving, your heart rate actually stays quite consistently up, in about the 140-160 range, which is the type of heart rate you’d expect on a steady jog.
Have fun doing it, because sometimes it just matters that you’re up and moving
I know it can be a bit difficult to get your head around, so here are some tips I’ve found helped me.
First things first, don’t take yourself seriously when doing this; take the workout seriously, but don’t feel weird about dancing. You probably won’t hit every move on your first time, and you might feel awkward or uncoordinated doing some movements, but that’s okay! Have fun doing it, because sometimes it just matters that you’re up and moving.
Secondly, pick songs you like. Personally, one of the worst things to happen during a workout is to get a song that you just really don’t want to listen to, and it can completely ruin your mood or your motivation. There are a bunch of people on the internet who have dance workouts, so I can guarantee at least one of them will have a dance to a song you like to listen to. If you’re unsure of what to listen to, it’s also a great way to hear new songs!
And lastly, if you get bored, just dance however you want to. Some movements won’t make sense sometimes, or they’ll feel awkward, or it just takes you out of the motivated headspace; if that happens, just do your own thing! Any movement still keeps your heart rate up. And sometime, starting with a dance workout can give you that little motivation that you need to do an exercise you have been wanting to do.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to convince yourself to organize a routine, or to get yourself to go outside, or to even just exercise, but, having good songs to listen to makes any workout easier, and having something simple but different to follow takes a lot of pressure off. You also know exactly how long each exercise will be and you can go for however long or short you want. And, since the movements change quite regularly, trying to figure out what is happening and matching the pace makes the time go by so much faster. At the end of the day, sometimes the most important thing is just to get moving. And honestly, it’s so much fun doing squats in time to Britney Spears’ “Toxic”.