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Thoughts for daily exercise and muscle

nxd10nxd10 Member, Premium Posts: 4,523 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,523 Member
I was just reading this piece in the NY Times about exercise and maintaining bone mass:

It says, among other things, that bone mass is better maintained and strengthened through non-static movements like jumping rope or tennis than by things like swimming or walking.

I got to the end and found one of my favorite activities listed and I wanted to recommend it to others: social dancing. I play in several traditional dance bands. We play waltzes, English Country, and contra dances (which are similar to square dances). All the venues we play at also have swing dances and often salsa.

Contra and English Country dances are taught at the beginning of each dance. Beginners are ALWAYS welcome. They are pretty cheap ($5-$7 is pretty standard - are even high). It's 3 hours of intense aerobic, cognitive, and social exercise with breaks every ten minutes and refreshments in the middle. You meet nice, if sometimes eccentric folks. You can find them almost anywhere in the country, although the Northeast and Northwest are the biggest centers. (I'm in the Cleveland area - if you're near send me a note and I'll send you a link to a schedule.)

And it is HARD WORK. Every time I dance instead of play I am amazed at how much exercise it is.

My parents square danced several times a week for most of their adult lives and it kept them in good aerobic health, if not thin. And my mom wondered aloud when she last visited at how much thinner all the folks at the dances were than most folks she saw walking around.

Other suggestions for good fun exercise that isn't going to the gym or walking? I walk every day and do machines when I have to. But I'd much rather do something I love. Unfortunately, we've moved from the water and I can no longer kayak.


  • Galloping4GodGalloping4God Member Posts: 47 Member Posts: 47
    I have a friend who does contra dances twice a month and I know she says it is a great workout! :)
  • cleotheriocleotherio Member Posts: 714 Member Member Posts: 714 Member
    I take Irish step dancing with my daughter during the school year. I don't technically count it as exercise, but it is something else in the active category that I like to do. Once we get into a long series of steps and hops, my heart rate does get up and I sweat a little bit.
  • nxd10nxd10 Member, Premium Posts: 4,523 Member Member, Premium Posts: 4,523 Member
    Sounds like exercise to me. I have friends who go to contra and have to leave because they get too sweaty. Even some of our waltz dances!
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