A minimum of three to six days per week. The frequency required for cardio response (improvement) depends on your fitness level. If you are sedentary, dancing once a week will be beneficial. If your lifestyle involves some cardio or strength activity, adding dance to your regimen so that you are exercising three to six times a week will give you the most bang for your buck. Combining dance with strength training and flexibility work is a heart-smart way to optimize your fitness progression.
Target muscle: Heart and mind
MODES: Zumba is the newest and most popular dance craze; freestyle dance; play your favorite tunes at home and get moving with someone or by yourself; tap; tai chi is sometimes considered a healthful form of dance; ballroom encompasses many varieties of partner dancing such as swing, tango, smooth, jive, rumba, cha-cha, etc; country; hip hop; contra and the list goes on and on.
Where can I dance?
In addition to your home, you can also dance at community centers, social events, fitness facilities, private dance studios, family celebrations, instructional classes.
People middle-aged or older who are inactive and at high risk for heart disease (or who already have a medical condition) should seek medical advice before they start new activity such as dance. Most healthy people regardless of age can safely engage in light dancing.
NEXT WEEK: Circuit training in your home.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989.
Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com.
Look for Cindy's fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.