"Everybody dance now," C & C Music Factory sang in the 90’s. Earlier, Peaches & Herb got you to "Shake Your Groove Thing," and Whitney Houston reminded us that "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)."
There’s always been plenty of well-loved dancing music to help you become your own "Dancing Queen," a la ABBA. Sometimes, good music can help you express yourself in a way that is just pure fun, and even someone who thinks they have two left feet, can do it! It’s also an excellent way to get your heart pumping, and work up a good sweat. Act like a 5-year-old again, freely laughing and jumping around, while doing something good for your body!
Dancing, whether it is in a formal class or just moving around your living room, pushing a vacuum cleaner, can really burn up some calories. It is a great way to have a thorough cardio workout, and a far cry from the expected cardio plan of running around a track. Sixty minutes of dance (aerobic, ballet, or modern) can burn between 300-500 calories, depending upon your weight. Get the heart pumping to the target zone, or at least 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, and you’ll be in the so-called ‘fat burning zone.’
Finding your maximum heart rate depends on your age, and general overall health. If you are very overweight, and have not exercised in years, do not start out pushing your heart beyond safe limits. Start off slowly, and check your heart rate when you are resting to see what is normal for you.
Active.com has a target heart rate calculator on their website, which can help you figure out how hard you should be pushing yourself. For example, a 45 -ear-old woman, who wants to exercise at 70% exertion will have a target heart rate of 122, which a range of between 98-146 beats per minute.
To get started, there are always a variety of dance classes at a local gym, or at private dance schools that offer community classes, open to adults, where they have offerings such as ZUMBA, ballet, and aerobic dance. Make a favorite dance music playlist on your iPod or MP3 player, or go old-school, and buy a dance DVD, put on those leg warmers, move back your sofa, and start grooving in your own living room!