Dance Your Way to Fitness, Five Minutes at a Time
One solution is to get up once or twice every hour and move around for five minutes or so. A fun way to do that is to dance to a short dance-exercise video. Not only will that get your heart beating and your blood circulating, but it will also provide a quick boost to your mood — and may clear any cobwebs out of your brain so you can return to your work mentally refreshed.
You can find a lot of bite-sized dance-exercise videos on YouTube that are ideal for our purposes. Here’s a selection of videos for different fitness and age levels that run from two-to-six minutes long. Some are classics and some contemporary:
“Truth Hurts” — Caleb Marshall
The blue-haired Caleb Marshall has tons of personality. In this three-minute dance video, which is shot outdoors, you move your sexy body to Lizzo’s mega-hit “Truth Hurts” with Caleb and his two back-up dancers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofddKYnkxTQ
“Good as Hell” — Caleb Marshall
Can’t get enough Lizzo and Caleb? Here’s another video where you can strut your stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxbN_r3Xx-w
“Celebration” — Richard Simmons
Before there was Caleb Marshall, there was Richard Simmons. Here he is in his trademark striped shorts and tank top. This blast from the past is still a good low-impact workout for all fitness levels. I think Simmons may have been the first to feature dancers of all sizes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVcuCKlUVOA
“Don’t Cha” — Billy Blanks Jr.
You can dance along to this energetic video using high-impact steps (jumping off the ground) or modify it to make it low-impact (both feet never leaving the ground at the same time). Billy Blanks Jr. (the son of Billy Blanks of Tae-Bo-exercise-video fame) urges you to sing along as you dance: “Don cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me,” which can be fun if you’re working at home but might not be advisable at the office (well, I guess that depends on the office). This video runs a little over five minutes and will get your heart pounding if you go all out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ1CSeNlRA4
“Dancin’ in the Street” — Billy Blanks Jr.
Here’s another Billy Blanks Jr. video segment if you’re looking for something less intense than the “Don’t Cha” one. This one is more free-form, with everyone doing their own steps. But they’re still singing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5y55VNSJdw
Bollywood Dance Exercise for Beginners
Here’s one you can do barefoot. If you’ve ever wondered how to do Bollywood moves, this video will quickly teach you a few hip-rolling moves. These moderately aerobic steps also target your abs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G0sd05freA
“Moves Like Jaggar” — Zumba Gold
Zumba Gold is a Zumba program designed for older adults, but it can be fun for anyone who wants a simple, low-impact routine. This 3-minute video has a dance routine choreographed to the catchy Maroon 5 hit — and seniors wearing sequined hip scarves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9lk3TwqB5A&t=114s
“La Bamba” — Zumba Gold
Here’s another Zumba Gold routine danced to a catchy song. This one will get your heart rate up with kicks, shimmies, and side-to-side steps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6pN0WRr2Ws
Why Having Fun Can Keep You Healthy
The best exercise plans in the world won’t do a thing if you don’t actually carry them out. (Not that I would know, ha.) The great thing about dance exercise is that it’s got motivation built right in. Because it’s fun, you’ll want to do it again.
It’s also good to mix things up. If you are sitting at the computer for hours, you should be taking a lot of breaks. During some, you could dance, during others, you could stretch, and for still others, you could walk around. The important thing is not to fall into that zone where you’re planted in a chair for hours, and your body starts to think you are hibernating and slows down your metabolism accordingly.
If you need reminders to get up and move, you could try a Pomodoro timer or just set a regular timer on your phone.
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Marjorie R. has written articles online for more than 15 years and has also written humor for American Greetings and crossword puzzles for the New York Times. She wrote an entertainment blog that was consistently in the top 5 in the Google search results, and at its peak was #1 out of a total of 66,499,997 results. She has a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in Creative Writing/English from SF State, and a J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law. She’s also HubSpot Inbound Certified.