stop the presses: there’s a workout I don’t hate

I found a workout I don't hate: a roundup of YouTube dance fitness videos.

So, a funny thing happened over the last month: I became a person who doesn’t just occasionally climb mountains, but one who *gasp* actually works out regularly. Yeah, I don’t know who I am, either.

Somewhere between my kids becoming 3 year olds who don’t wear me out quite as much, becoming a heart health ambassador, and just wanting my pants to fit a little looser, I decided I had the time, energy, and desire to do something fitness-wise. I’ve always been a healthy eater, but my main source of exercise has been chasing, lifting, and caring for my kids. It turns out when you turn 30, that’s not enough to keep your weight steady, if you’re me. I love my mombod, but knew both my heart and my waistline needed a change. The problem was, I generally hate exercise. I like hiking, but that’s not very fun in an Arkansas summer. I like yoga, but that’s not generally cardio. I will never never never be a runner, because I straight up hate it and have flunked out of the Couch to 5k program twice. But then I remembered I don’t hate dancing, so maybe I could give that a try. Dancing has the added bonus of being something I can do in my air conditioned living room while my kids sleep, or even with my kids, and it’s good cardio.

I found a workout I don't hate: a roundup of YouTube dance fitness videos.
My workout partners.

I ordered a set of Zumba DVDs from Zulily but the shipping was going to take a while, so I started looking for workouts on YouTube to try in the meantime. I’ve managed to find a decent mix, and shockingly, have managed to work out for about 20 minutes almost every weekday for the last month. I don’t actually hate this! In fact, I am feeling more energetic, drinking slightly less coffee (slightly), and am actually starting to feel like my clothes fit a little bit better. It’s not some dramatic story about jumping around in my living room and suddenly dropping 3 sizes, but that’s not what I wanted, anyway. I just want to take better care of myself, my heart, and my body.

I feel I should note that I feel like the world’s flailingest white girl while pelvic thrusting and shimmying in the privacy of my own home. I would DIE if even my husband saw me doing it, though I’m fine with the bufflogals joining in from time to time. But it doesn’t matter that I probably look ridiculous– I can be Beyonce in my mind. If I need inspiration to go ahead and “jiggle it,” this video is ample motivation:

I thought I’d share some of my favorite YouTube dance workouts in case any of you would like to flail around your living rooms in the name of fitness, too. Here’s to having at least a little fun in the name of getting healthier.

Do any of you do at-home workouts via YouTube? Got any faves to share?

window into my workplace

First, some back story: After 1.5 years at my job, I’m leaving next month because I’m moving. My boss, who is awesome, tells me every single day (even before we found out I was moving) what a great job I do and how sad he is that I’m leaving (proof that I’m not a total slacker, you guys!).  Also: this week, I got a brand spankin’ new 27-inch iMac in my office (replacing a 5 year old 17 inch iMac).  When it was installed, my boss and I had the following exchange:

Boss: “Isn’t that thing a little too big?”

Me: “Um, no! I’m going to have tons of windows, open all at once, and I won’t have to constantly minimize things! It’s gonna be great!”

Boss: “So really, what you’re telling me is, you’re going to be watching movies on that thing for your last month here.”

Me: “Yeah, basically.”

Back to the real story: So today, I’m sitting in my office watching this little YouTube video, which I found thanks to I Fry Mine in Butter:

Yep. Streisand and Celine Dion, circa 1997. Which, I find hilarious because it’s so cheesy and so 90s. Anyway, my boss walks in. Cue me trying to pause the video. It. will. not. pause. I finally hit mute, but the damage has been done.

Boss: “Whatcha doin’?”

Me: “Um, watching an awesomely cheesy video of Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand.”

Boss: *laughs loudly*

Me: *blushes furiously*

Boss: Well, come in here when you’re done, I need your help with something.

Usually, he enjoys teasing me mercilessly about almost everything, from whether or not I’m wholesome to the extent to which my shoes match my outfit (today he is rather amused that I’m wearing a blue dress, a green cardigan, and green suede sneakers with blue laces). Thankfully he exercised some restraint in the teasing over my embarrassing YouTube habits.

THESE are spirit fingers

Here’s some Friday fun for everyone.  I found this hilarious video via my friend, Political Party Girl:

The instructor has clearly been borrowing Jessie Spano’s uppers.

True story, though, y’all.  In college, where I was required to take one P.E. class per year, I took “Aerobic Dance,” because I heard it was hilarious. And oh my sweet spandex, it was. We didn’t really have an instructor so much as a lady who worked a VCR, and we’d basically sweat it to the oldies on the stage of the auditorium while she sat in the audience and watched us. Most of the videos we did were from the same era as this video. My favorite featured an instructor who seemed like one of Jem’s lost Holograms, and wore ridiculous thong leotards covered in stars over neon tights.  If I had college to do over again, I’d make my friends buy crazy spandex outfits with me to wear to Aerobic Dance class.  I’m sure American Apparel woulda done us up right.

Some day you should ask me to see some of the moves I learned. My friends in the class and I used bust out some of the moves at parties after a few drinks.

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