There are reasons people give up on their diet and fitness plans -- and it’s not because they’re lazy. Sometimes, the winding way to being fit just seems too much an uphill battle and there's not enough of a groove in the heart. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve felt the urge to do something physical -- anything physical -- and have been waylaid by some paid programming demanding I sweat by the gallon, undertake a super-restricted diet of pea shoots and Himalayan rock salt, and as of right now, obliterate ever obstacle, climb every mountain, and work harder than I ever have to see the best results of my life. Frankly, I'd rather lie down.
Anyone looking to see a change in their body needs to put in every effort when working out, but all these boot-camping, fat-incinerating, carb-murdering, mega-fitness tropes spook a lot of people from getting in shape, myself included. Having fun and looking good don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I discovered an exhilarating fitness plan that doesn't involve a gym or a gimmick – just late nights and a good beat.
Because dancing is everything… and great cardio, too. When you hear the song that makes you feel like the world will end if you don’t dance your heart out, you’re doing incredible things for your body. Dancing shoots up the heart rate, melting fat and chipping away at that dancer’s body everyone covets. Like with any bout of cardio, try and stretch out before you hit the town to get ready for a nice round of calorie burning. And no, you don’t have to find your inner "Flashdance" to get a good workout in. You don’t even have to know any actual dance moves -- it’s movement that’s key.
Because I can work my muscle groups and none’s the wiser. If you’re not great at improvising, thinking of workout moves on the dance floor can help tone you up and get you grooving. Found the beat? Why not bend the knees a little bit more when moving those hips? Too easy? Get lower! Suddenly you’re in full squat mode, engaging those quads, glutes, and hamstrings and you’re still keeping it cute. You’re out dancing for a reason, right? Don’t you need a release? Work it out! Need some ab-shaping? Keep your belly tight and imagine your abs contracting. Or move your arms; maybe do a little something that resembles a bicep curl? Don’t know how good it might look, but it’s your call. Remember the more you think of your muscles as you dance, the more they’ll be engaged.
Because a night out doesn’t have to mean a botched health and fitness plan. A firm commitment to dancing furiously for hours will likely curb any unmentionable behavior you might be tempted to indulge in after hours. Sweating out any drinks you might have sipped on will prompt you to stay hydrated. While I strongly advise against any crazy late night binges, you can feel good knowing you burned off some calories before sinking into that slice of pizza. Be advised that you definitely did not burn off anything in the extreme, so keep it healthy and think twice before going for that taquito-burrito combo thing. I've got your best interests in mind here, trust me.
Because all Pilates and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I consider it a personal feat that I can balance a lifestyle where I feel healthy and happy and still can have a night out that’s not totally reprehensible. The more you let the things you enjoy intersect with each other, the more exciting life can be. I’m of the humble opinion that the more you restrict yourself, the more likely you are to backslide into some nasty habits, simply because denying oneself is one of the biggest enemies of living a life of wellness through moderation.