Photo Credit: Kyle Nieber
Throughout your life, you were an active and well-balanced person. You grew up knowing who you are and you embrace life. You stayed busy with friends, family, work, education, and a social calendar. You managed it all.
Now, you are a mother. This little person has come into your life and everything changed. Your entire world has refocused on them. You know that it is your hands and heart that will mold their world, and you want them to have the best of you. The reality is, in order to care for your child, you must first care for yourself.
At first, it is hard to get everything under control. Your sleep schedule is disrupted. Your eating habits are disturbed. You rush to fit in the necessities of life during times when the baby is napping or entertained.
Staying healthy and fit
In our modern society, access to healthy food is always within reach. With a little effort, you can be sure that you are getting the right foods in the right quantities. However, getting exercise is a bit more difficult.
When you have a child to care for, you do not have time to do all the things you once did to get exercise. Mothers look for an exercise that burns calories, builds muscle, sculpt the body, and is fun. Dance is a great place to go.
Many dance moves are effective and can be practiced while you are doing other things. Dance class is usually only an hour or two per week and getting started does not need to be expensive. You can purchase discount dance leotards by Just For Kix online. Leotards, tights, shoes, and a cover-up are a good beginners kit.
In this post, we will share 5 dance-based workouts that will get you in shape and keep you in shape while you are having fun and saving time.
The Running Man
The Running Man is often in the hip-hop circles. It is a lot of fun to master. This move can be practiced at home. It is a calorie burner and it works the muscles you need to keep up in dance. Start with your feet together and your arms hanging at your sides. Your starting position is on your side.
- Lift your left leg up high. You will bend your knee forming a 90-degree angle. While you are doing this, bend your arms and lift them as if you are actually going to run. Close your fist.
- Push down and back with your left leg and lift your right leg following the same motions you did with the left. (bend the knee at a 90-degree angle)
- Push down your hands at the same time, relaxing them slightly but keeping a fist. Practice speeding the move up and slowing it way down.
The Harlem Shake
Based on a dance called Eskista, from East Africa, hip-hop gained global popularity in the 1980’s. A lot of dancers call it “the drunken dance”. The Harlem Shake has no formal moves. The dancer uses their own style, creativity, and movements. There is no wrong way to do the Harlem Shake. It really is feeling the music and moving to it. Here is an example.
When the Robot gained popularity in the 1980’s, it grabbed a place in hip-hop history. You just cannot be a hip-hop dancer and not do the Robot. You will see seasoned hip-hop dancers adding the robot to their dances. It is fun and great practice.
The robot is basically doing anything you would normally do, but in the motion as a robot would do it. It is a series of freeze, turns, and dime stops. You simply stand in a defined straightway and steps, turns, and movements are done with bending only the joints as much as possible. Practicing this dance helps you focus on your control. It also helps you identify the muscles that may need attention.
The Bird is a fun and funny way to add some cardio to your workout. Click here for examples. Add 3 of these moves for 30 seconds to your dance routine for best results. You will start in a squatting position, with your feet together, push your rear as far back as possible. Cross your arms over your chest. With your right foot, take one step to your right, opening up your knees as you open your arms; keep your abs tight, and keep your butt as low and as far back as possible. Step your left foot to the right so you’re back in your squat, closing your arms across your chest. Then, with your left foot, take one step to your left, opening up into a squat as you spread your arms. Bring your right foot back to the left so you’re back in your squat, closing your arms across your chest so you’re back in your starting position.
Beat The Bongos!
This is an easy move that will get your heart-rate up in no time. Stand with your feet wide apart. Imagine a set of bongo drums between your feet. With each beat of the music, you will slightly bounce down and push your arms (one at a time) with palms open into the drums. Start at the right and while moving as fast as the music allows, hit each “bongo” with an open hand moving from the left to the right. You will imagine 4 drums. Each drum will be hit once by each hand on a run. When you reach the right side, begin beating the drums back to the left side.
With each hit, your upper body will move down and then up in a semi-bounce. Note: to see an example hit the link above.
There are many other types of dance that will keep you fit and healthy. Give it a try, you may just love it.