Staying in shape the fun way

It goes without saying that, for some people, going to the gym three times a week and running on a treadmill isn’t exactly the most fun way to stay in shape. But that shouldn’t be an excuse not to find something fitness-related to look forward to, not something to do begrudgingly simply because it’s routine. Read on to find out how working out can be turned into something fun and enjoyable.

One way to get in shape, and have a blast while doing it, is dancing. Within the last year, the Zumba craze has taken over fitness centers and television sets across the country, because of its upbeat, energetic and calorie-burning routines that will not only get heartbeats pumping, but will transform a fitness routine into something slightly resembling a party. Zumba classes take traditional aerobics to a whole new level, using Latin-infused dance flavors, such as merengue and salsa, to create fun, sassy routines that work the entire body. It’s impossible not to have a blast at a Zumba session, no matter how advanced or novice a dancer.

More traditional options are to take traditional dance classes, whether it’s ballet, jazz, tap or even ballroom. All of these options have different flavors, benefits and challenges, but all guarantee a good workout. In ballroom dancing, the workout usually turns social. Hitting up a salsa or swing dancing club on the weekend with friends frequently turns into a night of great fun and intense working out, without ever having to put on your sneakers or a T-shirt.

But going to any exercise session, even a fun one, is challenging, and muscle pain can occur at the beginning. Dancing tends to work many muscles in the body, including ones that are typically never used, which may lead to discomfort and pain at the beginning of a workout dance routine. Additionally, failing to stretch properly before and after anything dance-related is unsafe and could lead to short- and long-term problems, so be sure to avoid this problem before it becomes one.

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