We all know the importance of taking breaks throughout the day to keep us refreshed and energized. What do your daytime breaks look like? Are they satisfying? Whether you need a break from your work or a brief intermission from sitting too long, wouldn’t you enjoy your breaks more if they made you smile?
The type of break I’m proposing has to do with exercise. But hold on… before you start groaning and thinking this is a ruse to get you into the gym and coax you to develop a positive relationship with barbells, battle ropes and treadmills – it’s not. This break type is better than that – and much more gratifying.
Imagine a fun exercise break that strengthens your muscles, oxygenates your lungs, takes you back to your heart, encourages self-expression, taps into your spiritual side, elevates your mood, and leaves you feeling revived.
Dance! Mash some spuds. Get your groove on with or without a partner. Maintain your rhythm by making dance your daily departure from your to-do list. Begin your interlude any time you need to pause your cause.
Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
Dancing counts as exercise and boasts many health benefits similar to that of other cardio activities. Studies have proved that dancing is a full-body workout. Flow and glow.
Groove to some jammin’ tunes to help reduce your fatigue, improve your circulation, boost your cognitive performance, lift your disposition, and keep you on task. Music, when paired with dance, helps you stand in your power – free to be you! Fill your soul with song and samba your feet to the beat.
I love to dance; although it wasn’t until recently that I began appreciating the amazing health benefits. Beyond the physical advantages, dancing is liberating, entertaining and emotionally uplifting. Taking short dance breaks throughout the day is a body, mind and spirit experience.
Music, dance and pleasure all wrapped up in one hip-dipping engagement! There’s something soulful about song and dance. Hand in hand, they can help you bust through mental blocks and open you up to more.
To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful… This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.
Agnes De Mille
Dancing is an effective aerobic choice that can tone muscles and improve endurance, coordination and flexibility, but unlike some strenuous exercises, dancing is gentler on your body. You can practice steps from your tango class, cha-cha or waltz with an imaginary partner, or boogie to your favorite moves from back in the day.
The Pony. The Twist. The Popcorn. The Loco-motion. The Hitchhiker. Now fast forward to Backpack Kid. Do you know how to floss? It might be fun to practice flossing and then flaunt your dexterity in the presence of your grandchildren. They’ll be raving to their friends about grandma.
But as you pause from your usual routine, you don’t necessarily have to model the moves of a particular dance. Free-flowing freestyle is the perfect choice for your short breaks. Allow your inner choreographer to Moonwalk you across the room.
Be imaginative. You could even make your break a multimedia experience. As Elvis Presley belts out in “Jailhouse Rock”: “If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair.”
Music choices are highly personal, and you probably already know what tunes will spring you from your sedentary position into the spotlight of your living room floor. Until you have time to organize your favorite selections, here’s an eclectic playlist to help launch your daily break.
- Strengthen your core and calves to “The Twist” by Chubby Checker.
- “Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)” by Leo Sayer will put a happy face on your dance date.
- Let your hair down and dance the blues to “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie.
- “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang may motivate you to express gratitude for yourself. Yahoo!
- Allow the big band era to enhance your quality of life, beginning with “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller.
- “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor may make you feel unstoppable.
- The guitar solos in “Oye Como Va” by Santana may bring back memorable moments with friends.
- “Shake Your Booty” by KC & the Sunshine Band can keep your fascia healthy.
- If you watched General Hospital when Luke and Laura were a hot item, “Rise,” the featured piece by Herb Alpert, will place you in the middle of those steamy scenes and thrust you into a seductive strut.
- “Rainforest” by Paul Hardcastle may cause your creative juices to flow as steadily as the Amazon River.
- Imagine yourself in one of the iconic ballrooms of the swing era, as you swivel your hips to “So Rare” by Jimmy Dorsey.
- Let the good times roll with “Good Times” by Chic.
- A crabby mood mender, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown is the ultimate quick fix to procrastination.
- “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees may inspire you to imitate John Travolta’s smooth moves in Saturday Night Fever.
- For the brave and experienced dancer, Walker Murphy’s version of “A 5th of Beethoven” will have you spinning, as your body meets the floor in a basic breakdance routine.
Who said exercise has to be boring and difficult? Cut a rug, jitterbug! Recharge! Spice up your day with short dance breaks to increase blood flow, strengthen your muscles and soothe your soul. Sing along or add your own vocals and laugh out loud.
Fitting in a few unscheduled dance moves during the day will help supply the energy you need to complete your daily tasks and make you feel good. Get your dance on! Exercising is so much fun, isn’t it?
What types of exercise breaks do you take during the day? Would you share two of your favorite dance songs? Which were the most popular dances during your high school years? Which ones did you enjoy the most?
Let’s Have a Conversation!