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Shake It Out

Friday, April 12, 2013

I love the way my body feels after a hard workout. Who doesn't?? Endorphins flowing, sweat dripping, tired (but not yet sore) muscles. It's the feeling of... accomplishment. Victory. Glory. But most of all, it's the tranquility that comes from silencing that little voice in your head - you know, the one that makes you feel guilty alllll day long after you choose to snuggle up on your couch to watch movies, order a pizza, and bake cookies, instead of venturing outside for a day full of physical activity. Don't get me wrong, lazy days in pajamas are just as necessary to keep a person sane, but don't you just feel so much better when you've "earned" it?

Now comes the question every woman asks herself: if I know how great it feels to workout, then why is it still so darn hard to get off my butt and do it??

Everyone has there own answers to this question, but I'll let you in on mine:

1) I am a MASTER procrastinator. Always have been. Hell, I can have my running shoes laced up, hit play on the ipod, and decide I just can't do my run today because of "such-and-such a thing I have to do." If I'm even slightly dreading something, like a hard workout, I do my best to avoid it.

2) Some days, I actually have this irrational fear of WORKOUT FAILURE. This is when that voice in my head starts saying things like "what if you run too far out and can't make it home?" or "what if an 80-year-old man sprints past you as you're walking up that little hill at the end of the block?".

If I actually make it out the door, these anxieties turn into non-problems... every. single. time. So lately, I've been working on eliminating these silly concerns, and this is what I've come up with: DANCE THERAPY. Okay, laugh if you will, but if you knew me, you'd know that I looooooove to dance. Like really, really love to dance.

So here's what I've started doing on those days when I wake up with every intention of going on a decent run or popping in the P90X Plyo dvd, then by the time I've put my gym clothes on, I've lost all motivation.

First, I tell myself "No. Sitting is not an option. Seriously. Get up." (and hope that I listen)

Next, I start up my "Dance Party" play list and get-down to the first three songs that play - this is a great way to warm-up. Take 10 minutes to simply SHAKE IT OUT.
(I like to "Shake it Out" to Florence and the Machine -

10 minutes is usually just enough to get me loose and pump me up. Usually just enough to kick my butt into gear and get on with the intended workout.

If not, I keep dancing.

I might even turn it into a pseudo-circuit workout by adding in some strength moves or light weights. Dance, tone, dance, tone... you get the idea. (E.g. song one: dance/jumping jacks/squats, two: dance/mountain climbers/planks, three: dance/high-knees/push-ups, four: dance/jump ropes/lunges, etc.)

And some days, I simply dance my little hear out - no moves added.

Before I know it, I'm sweating bullets and I've enjoyed myself. It's an easy and fun workout, and although it might not be the run I was hoping for, it's far from a failure. Voila. No failure = no fear, right? I dance until I've done enough to shut up that little voice in my head. I'm actually less likely to skip out on subsequent workouts because I feel so much better having done a little bit of something, than nothing at all!

When in doubt, dance it out.

Luckily, I live in a culture, where music is an important part of each day... Even at work!

^^Before I hold a health session (malaria, nutrition, hygiene, AIDS) it is essential that we start with singing and dancing or people won't want to participate.

^^Celebrating International Women's Day in my village

Maybe someday I'll figure out how to forever silence the little, doubting voice in my head, but until then, I'm going to keep on dancing.
**I found my inspiration for "dance therapy" on The Workout Girl site:

I highly recommend you check out their other workouts to find your inspiration! They're great for people who don't have a gym membership or
say, live in Africa like me!**

Let dancing hat man inspire you -
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