In your quest to get, or stay fit, you try to exercise several times a week. That’s great, but you might find yourself getting a little bored with your aerobic routine. There’s a way to add some excitement to your routine by trying a new, yet old, way people over-50 are getting fit.
New Fitness Fun Doing Classic 60’s Dances
If you’re over 50 and maybe even a little closer to 60, you likely remember all those fun dances that were around back in the early to-mid ‘60’s. The Swim, the Monkey, the Pony, the Mashed Potatoes, the Watusi, the Jerk and who could forget the Chubby Checkers’ dance the Twist. You’ll probably be amused to learn that several fitness clubs across the country are capitalizing on all those golden oldie Boomer dances. That’s right – fitness trainers are now actually using those old 60’s dances as a way to get Boomer-age people fit again.
One club in San Francisco actually caters to this specific age group’s exercise needs and has named their dance-based program after them – Boomercize. Many other fitness clubs are creating special 60’s dance-based exercise classes to entice Boomers to get back to fitness by doing something they had so much fun doing when they were younger – dancing to their favorite songs.
Another 60’s-type dance program focuses on go-go dancing – a free-form method of dancing that combines many of the popular dances of those years. Back then, it was done mostly by scantily clad go-go dancers perched in elevated cages in nightclubs across the country like the infamous Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. If you ever watched Laugh-In, the popular comedy variety show back in the late 60’s, you’ll may remember Goldie Hawn, and actress Judy Carne, as the go-go dancers who usually always got whapped with something while they were ponying and Watusi-ing.
How To Get Fit Doing 60’s Dances
Although you may have a lot of fun, and meet new people, joining a big 60’s dance class at the Y or your local Recreation Center, you might want to just really let your hair down dancing in your socks on your wood floor at home. However, it might be safer to put your athletic shoes on to prevent falling. You might even want to invite a few friends, or ask your spouse, to do the dances with you. All you need are a few good DVDs and a decent sound system.
One DVD by dancer Angie Pontani, Go-Go Dancing, that you can buy teaches the go-go style of dancing that incorporates many of the 60’s dances, like the not-so-popular, the Freddie (created by the British pop group, Freddie and The Dreamers), that involved lifting your arms and legs, kind of like slower jumping jacks; the Ann-Margret (let’s just say there’s a lot of shaking going on), the Watusi, and the popular Twist. Pontani walks you through all the moves involved. She demonstrates that it’s both a pretty active aerobic workout as well as making it look like a whole lot of fun.
In addition to Pontani’s DVD, your local library will likely have a few exercise dance videos featuring 60’s dances that you can start with. Long-time exercise guru Richard Simmons has a DVD, 60’s Blast Off, which makes use of high-energy 60’s dances like the Pony, the Watusi and the Twist to rev up your fat burning. It also includes low impact maneuvers for those with joint issues or if you’re just starting to exercise. Another popular DVD is Christy Lane’s, Learn the Dances of the 50’s-60’s-70’s-80’s, which allows you to learn and work out to 4 decades worth of fast-moving, fat-burning dances to get fit.
The workouts may look like just dancing fun but they really do give you a full body workout especially if you combine a few of the dance styles together. For example, doing the Freddie, the Swim, and the Watusi, gives a lot of arm and core movements as well as your legs. You can even wear 1-2 lb wrist weights to give you a little more resistance exercise in your arms.
Doing the Twist is a real waistline whittler but it also targets your hips and thighs. The Mashed Potatoes works pretty much the inner thighs and hip muscles, while dances like the Shimmy and the Pony target your rear as they involve lifting your legs high – almost like running in place. The Bird – and its airplane like arm motions – can tone up flabby arms. Just keep a good pace and keep moving. And like all exercise, dancing – especially having so much fun – releases feel good brain chemicals called endorphins.
Whichever way you choose to do them, at home or in a class, you can shake up your tedious aerobic routine and have fun burning fat and getting fit by dancing to your favorite 60’s dances. So, turn up the volume, get moving, burn some fat and have a blast! You just might not want to stop!