Baby weight – not my ideal look.
After I had my first son, I had an extra fifty pounds hanging around. I had always been a “skinny” girl, so the extra weight was quite a shock. But I incorrectly assumed that if I simply waited for weight loss, it would happen. A few months later, and I still felt like a flabby mess. Time for diet and exercise! I could easily accomplish eating clean, but squeezing in exercise seemed difficult for me, an exercise rookie and first-time mom.
I became a dwelling of imaginary adventures.
Through trial and error, I found a rhythm that allowed me to lose some weight. But as my son grew older, he tried to become more and more involved in my routines. However, it was to my detriment. If I rolled into plank pose, I became a motorcycle. If I held a lunge, I became a bridge – a crumbling bridge. I had tried workout videos, but because my son couldn’t follow those, he was mostly in the way. He wanted to be involved, but I needed to figure out a way for his involvement to benefit the both of us. I was almost to the end of my weight loss journey, and I wanted my son to help, not hinder, the rest of the process.
Jumping around with music = Dancing for fun and fitness
I tried teaching him yoga poses, push-ups, and squats, but there wasn’t enough freedom for kids his age. So I decided to crank the music and let my son jump around. Of course, I jumped around for encouragement, but by the end of the song, it had morphed into some form of crazy dancing. A couple of songs later, and we were both exhausted!
Dancing helps kids become involved in “exercise”.
Success at last! At first, it felt strange, but oh well; my son was having fun, I was having fun, and I was even getting a workout. I have explored a plethora of crazy moves, and I am becoming a pro at a few, if I do say so myself. You could try dance workout videos and DVDs, but like I previously stated, those are usually too difficult for younger children to follow.
The key is to let loose!
Just enjoy the music and move! It may hard at first to explore different (and sometimes extremely eccentric) moves, but practice makes perfect. I have been known to bust out a cha-cha or salsa move (observed only by my son), and I am no ballroom dancer. Ever see those Riverdance shows? Yeah, I’ve tried that, too. I’ve done the twist, some body rolls, hip hop moves, shimmies, booty shakes… The list goes on and on! My son has even created his own moves. I’d have to say this is one of the easiest and funnest ways to get a cardio workout at home. I don’t feel like I’m neglecting my child, I’m burning the necessary calories, everyone is having fun – it’s a win-win situation.
How long should you dance for?
You should dance until you sweat and then some. You can attempt at dancing longer than your children, who, let’s face it, have a lot of energy. According to online calorie-burned calculators, a 140 pound woman burns between 140 – 190 calories per half hour of fast-paced dancing (depending on the impact and amount of exertion used). But these calculators aren’t always accurate. Go with what you feel is right, and both you and your child/children will have fun!