7 Amazing Benefits of Jazzercise
Before you look at the title and assume that I am one of those exercise/health nuts, think again! For most of my 32 years, I have absoluted hated exercising. I have tried to get out and walk regularly or play sports, and I have even tried at-home videos. There isn't a single program that I was able to stick to until this year.
Last year, I had a life-changing moment when I stepped on the scale and saw the numbers go all the way up to 200 lbs. I had no idea that I had gained so much weight. I think I was trying to ignore it, honestly, telling myself that it was just a few pounds. Being 5'7" tall, my normal recommended weight is somewhere around 150 lbs, so I was carrying around an extra 50 lbs. My energy was low, I wasn't feeling well in general, and even though I couldn't see it, my heart was getting weaker. I was heading down a path that might someday lead to heart disease.
I tried a few things like Weight Watchers and even the Carmen Elektra Striptease DVD's, but nothing got me excited enough to really keep it up. Earlier this year, someone suggested Jazzercise, and I have been so happy that I joined. Before I went, I thought it would be some 80's style aerobics where people were wearing leg warmers and bandanas and happily skipping around to Olivia Newton John songs. Boy was I wrong! Jazzercise is modern and incorporates music from techno to top 40's. Curious about some of the amazing benefits I have gotten from Jazzercise? Here are my top 7 reasons for loving every minute of it.
1. Jazzercise Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease
The number one killer in America is Heart Disease. In fact, I was shocked to learn that ONE OUT OF THREE people dies from heart disease in our country! The very best way that you can help decrease your risk of heart related disease is to exercise. Of course, there are tons of different ways to exercise, and you need to find something that works for you, even if it is just simply walking your dog around the block every day.
However, if you're like me, you have a very hard time actually sticking to any exercise routine because to be honest, you just don't enjoy it. I whole-heartedly recommend that you try Jazzercise and see what you think. Every class is 60 minutes long and doing that just two or three times a week could reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 50% . Why? Basically because your heart gets stronger and can pump more blood with less effort. You are lowering your blood pressure and the benefits of a healthy heart are endless!
2. You Will Have More ENERGY
It's funny how this works, but expending energy through exercise leads to more energy in general. For a long time, I always allowed myself the excuse of "I don't have enough time to exercise!" Of course, I was struggling just to get through the day without feeling tired and sleepy and just worn out.
After I started going to Jazzercise in the mornings, I found that taking an hour out of my busy schedule to exercise actually increased my productivity and energy so much that I got more done throughout the day. Even if you think you simply don't have an extra hour in the day to go exercise, take a week and make the time. You just might find that you get more done in the long run with less time.
3. Jazzercise is Right For All Fitness Levels
I wouldn't be caught dead in a normal gym. Why not? I'm too embarrassed to go. It seems like there are always such good looking, muscular people at the gym, and you hear about how so-and-so met their boyfriend there, etc. And besides that, I have no idea what to do with half of the equipment in a gym. Maybe it's silly to be scared to go to a gym or embarrassed about it, but I'm just being honest. If you feel comfortable going to the gym, more power to you. It's just not my cup of tea.
I was a little bit nervous the first time I went to Jazzercise, but only until I walked in the door. There were people of every different fitness level, and almost everyone was female. Throughout the routines, some people do extra things to make it harder, while others make sure to just keep moving and do their best. I have never once felt a judgmental eye on me. Every day that I go, I know that I am challenging myself, and there is definitely room to grow. it's such a comfortable atmosphere, and I love it!
4. The Routines Work Every Major Muscle Group
I've tried those videos like "Abs of Steel" and such, but the problem is that I need more of a workout than just 30 minutes of abs work. I don't think there's a single part of my body that doesn't need some tightening and toning. Plus, I get bored of working on one specific muscle group for a long period of time.
In the Jazzercise routines, it's more like dancing, so you work every muscle group, and even have fun doing it. I know there's no way anyone could call it boring, that's for sure! Also, at the end of every class, there is strength training portion where you focus on abs, glutes,upper body (like biceps and such), and inner thighs. I don't know about you, but those are all areas I would love to see some improvement. And the great thing is that they don't linger on a certain area for 30 minutes. You get one song of it, which is usually like 3 minutes or something. It helps me to push myself harder and not "cheat" because I know that I can do anything for just 3 minutes.
I don't have any delusions that I will look like this girl in the picture in just a few short months... but I do know this: I will never have even a hint of a body like that if I just sit on my couch all day and never exercise!
5. Exercise Strengthens Your Bones
Did you know that strengthening your muscles also strengthens your bones? I had no idea until the instructor told me that in class one day. Then, of course, I had to look it up to see if she was right. People who do not exercise are just setting themselves up for osteoporosis later in life. Research has shown that people who exercise their muscles are also strengthening the bones those muscles are attached to.
I guess it's really not something we think about as young people, but the stronger your bones are when you are younger, the stronger your bones will be when you are older. Continuous exercise throughout your life seriously reduces your risk of broken bones. A broken bone at age 25 might just be considered an inconvenience to most people, but a broken bone at age 75 could be catastrophic. It is important to exercise now to make your bones stronger. Since Jazzercise works all of your major muscle groups, you are strengthening your bones all over your body each time you go.
6. Jazzercise Makes You Happier by Reducing Stress
Everyone has stress in their lives. So often as women and mothers, we are juggling so many things that we hardly take any time out for ourselves to release tension and deal with the stress in our lives. It is proven that stress causes serious damage to your health. It can lead to heart disease, weight gain or unhealthy weight loss, high cholesterol, and depression. For me, it also leads to unhealthy skin, which is a nightmare.
By taking time out to exercise a few times a week, you can reduce your stress significantly. You can get rid of the tension in your muscles by making them stronger and warming them up so you can stretch them out. You can counter depression with exercise because it releases endorfins and other chemicals that just make you feel better in general. Also, most people sleep better at night when they exercise regularly, which definitely reduces stress.
Of course, most kinds of exercise will carry this benefit. I just choose to Jazzercise because on top of the other things I mentioned, it's so much fun that it makes me happy just being there.
7. Weight Loss
Most women who are overweight fantasize about losing it. I know I do. I tried different diets and weight loss programs, but the bottom line is that without exercise, you will never get the body you want. Everyone who is serious about losing weight needs to be ready to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise.
With Jazzercise, I didn't lose a lot of weight right away. In fact, I actually gained a little bit at first because I was strengthening my muscles. But muscle burns fat, so gradually I have begun to lose weight. So far, in the past several months, I have lost 16 pounds. And it's more than just the pounds that show. Because my muscles are more toned and healthy, I look like I've lost even more weight than that. It's not a miracle cure where you will drop 50 lbs.overnight, but I have never found anything like that anyway, even though some things promise amazing results. In the end, it's regular exercise that will lead you to your weight loss goals.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I know I probably sound like a commercial for Jazzercise at times, but honestly, I don't work for Jazzercise at all. I am just a regular girl. The truth is that I have searched for so long to find a way that I could actually enjoy exercising, and now that I have found it, I want to share it with the world. Most Jazzercise locations will give you a free trial week to go and experience the classes to see what you think. Oh, and the good news once you do sign up is that when you pay the monthly fee (which is less than a Weight Watchers monthly fee, btw), you can go to any class anytime. My local Jazzercise here in Cary, North Carolina has classes 6 times a day throughout the week and again several times on the weekends. For the same price, I could go twice a day if I wanted to, which is a really good deal.
The important thing is that no matter what your fitness level is now, you need to make an effort to find a form of exercise that brings you joy. It could truly save your life... in more ways than one.
If you enjoyed this hub or have something you want to say about Jazzercise or the exercise that you love, please comment below!