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Marsh column: Do dance classes provide a good workout?

Q. I love the dance classes at the YMCA and I want to make sure those classes are a good workout. Are they?
A. Ah, a fellow dance lover! Yes, dance classes like our Zumba, Bodyjam, Hip Hop, and Reggae will give you a great workout!
Now of course, your results will depend on the intensity of your workout.
We have more than 90 group exercise classes a week at our J.F. Hurley Family YMCA ó from chair yoga to cardio kick box, Bodycombat, Bodyvive, Bodystep, Bodypump, Bodyflow, Hi lo, group fitness, yoga, Tai Chi, body movement, step, biking classes, Pilates, and the list goes on and on.
Each class has different purposes, levels, and skills and even music. People have different skills and levels and needs.
Remember the columns about Target Heart Rate (THR)?
To get a great workout, whichever class it might be, you need to be within your THR.
THR is 55/60percent to 90 percent of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). Your MHR is 220 minus your age. Take 60 percent to 90 percent (55 if overweight, non-active, health challenges). Make sure your heart rate is at least at 60 percent (or 55 when needed) and no higher than 90 percent (athlete). After you know you are at least at the minimum level of your THR you might not realize that you are doing “that much” because music, dancing, moving is so much fun that it can’t be exercising!
Before you know it, the class is over you are pouring sweat and your endorphins (those things which release when you are exercising and make you feel so good …) are through the roof. You had so much fun that you are wondering if you even were working out … isn’t that the BEST feeling in the world?
I am so excited that our dance classes are reaching so many people, some of them who would never stepped into a group exercise class before or a fitness center.
Did you know that Zumba has even reached the Netherlands? I might be teaching a class when I am over there visting my family next week.
Our Hip Hop class at the Y is so huge that we had to split the class in two classes! The reggae class is getting that way. The kids love to dance, too. I was at Hurley Elementary School last week for Career Day. After talking about my fantastic job, we did one or two songs of Zumba.
We had sooo much fun.
Coming in May to the YMCA are kid Bodyjam/Hip Hop/Reggae dance classes and added to all of our other birthday party opportunities are Dance Fever Birthday parties.
Friday evenings, disco atmosphere, learn a hip dance, dance ’til you drop, cake, punch, balloons ó all this makes me just want to get up and dance!
nnn
Contact Ester Marsh at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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