Archive for the tag - fun

Is Pole Dancing a Good Workout?

Haley Star and Davey Wavey pole dancing!

Is pole dancing a good workout? Just ask my thighs. Or my arms. Or my abs. All of which are incredibly sore after my first pole dancing class.

Yesterday, Haley Star and I filmed a video at a local pole dancing studio for my main YouTube channel that I’ll be posting in early January. While filming the video was a lot of fun, I didn’t anticipate how much of a workout that I’d get from climbing up and spinning around the pole.

Truth be told, pole dancing works a full range of muscles – and even provides a great cardio workout that incorporates elements of high intensity interval training. In pole dancing, some of the poses involve isotonic contractions wherein opposing muscles (such as the biceps and triceps) contract to produce a controlled movement. For other poses, isometric contractions are incorporated by holding a static position without joint movement (as in the photo).

From what I can tell, one of the great benefits of pole dancing is that you can accomplish something each class. There are many different moves to learn at so many different ability levels. It’s very rewarding to accomplish a move – and the sweet taste of victory may even make you want to exercise.

Beyond being addicting, pole dancing is also a lot of fun. People often tell me that exercise is boring. In my humble opinion, only boring people have boring workouts. Spinning around a pole to your favorite beat is exhilarating… and even a bit liberating. You may find yourself awakening the sexy vixen or stud within – and unleashing your new-found confidence on the world around you.

At any rate, I’m definitely hungry for more.

Have you ever tried a pole dancing class? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Who Says Exercise is No Fun?

Flying Davey Wavey!

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore.

In fact, by connecting exercise to the things you enjoy, it can be something to which you look forward. And if you look forward to exercise and enjoy the experience, you’re more likely to do it more often!

Whoever said exercise is boring didn’t have much of an imagination. There are so many ways to get your body moving and heart pumping that are fun, exciting and exhilarating. A summer swim in the ocean is exercise. Dancing in your underwear to your favorite playlist is exercise. Playing volleyball or basketball in recreational league is exercise. All of it counts! And it’s all better than sitting on the couch.

While the majority of my exercise takes place at the gym, I love gymnastics. And so each and every Tuesday night, I take a class at my local gymnastics center. Whether it’s jumping into the foam pit, bouncing on the trampoline or playing on the parallel bars, I always have a great time while connecting to my inner child. And I always get a workout that leaves me sore for days.

Exercise can take so many different forms, be it hockey, boating, biking, hula hooping, jumping rope, ping pong, rock climbing, jogging with your dog, tennis or hiking. When it comes to increasing your activity level, it’s okay to think outside the gym.

At the end of the day, the only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen. So get moving and get active doing something you love.

P.S. Check out my 8 tips for making gym workouts more fun!

Tips to Make Exercise Fun!

Davey,

I have been trying to get fit for the longest time, but every time I try, I get bored with workouts and routines or don’t find that I have time, or maybe desire, to stop what I’m doing for an hour or two each day to workout. Are there any activities that I could do, with or without friends, that would target my chest, abs, and back?

From,
Tyler

Hey Tyler,

The belief that “working out = boring” is one of the biggest roadblocks people encounter. Instead of looking forward to the gym or exercise, many people dread it – and then consequently skip workouts and avoid exercise. (And who can blame them? Life is too short to do things that you don’t like.) If exercise isn’t enjoyable, you’ll probably struggle to make it a habit. If it’s fun, the whole process is much easier.

Injecting excitement into your exercise routine might come from doing any or all of the following:

  1. Listen to music – create a good playlist.
  2. Get a workout partner.
  3. Join a class like Pilates, yoga, pole dancing (it’s a great workout!) or Zumba.
  4. Exercise in front of a TV – or even during commercial breaks.
  5. Try new exercises or a new form of exercise (i.e., rock climbing, dancing, tennis, gymnastics, etc.).
  6. Set goals and achieve them – get competitive with yourself.
  7. Just do two sets of each exercise.
  8. Jog or jump rope in between your sets.

Interestingly, there have been a few studies on the subject of exercise and enjoyment. Most recently, I read an article in which researchers discovered that exercisers overestimate how much they’re going to dislike working out. Researchers found that simply by moving a participant’s favorite exercises to the beginning of the workout, people were much less likely to skip the gym. In other words, if you enjoy training on an elliptical, move that to the front of your workout. According to the researchers’ findings, it will help get you to the gym.

Also, keep in mind that you need not exercise an hour or two each day (as you mentioned in your email). Just 30 – 45 minutes a day, 2 – 3 times a week is a great place to start. From there, you can slowly build up as you find forms of exercise that you enjoy. And remember, exercise isn’t just working out in the gym. Exercise comes in many forms; hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, climbing, kayaking and so many other fun activities can all be a part of your fitness program.

Don’t use the excuse that exercise is boring to keep you from working out; exercise is only boring if you make it that way. Have fun with it!

Love,
Davey

Music & Exercise: Working Out to a HOT Beat!

Dear Davey,

I’ve been an avid gym-goer for over a year now and have been successful in shedding the title of skinny boy by putting on some 30 pounds of muscle and counting. However, I’m terrible with selecting music to work-out to and it’s becoming a problem. My limited selection of music is getting old and repetitive and I find myself needing to spice it up.

Would you care to share your work-out playlist? Or even, perhaps, solicit your other blog buddies for their input.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Will

I have seen the headphoned masses, but you may be surprised to learn that I’m not among them. I don’t exercise to music.

At most, I’ll tune into a television while doing cardio – but in all honesty, I find music to be distracting. I prefer being fully present with my body, and being aware of the exercises that I’m performing.

I’m not great at doing two things at once – if my mind is on the music, I probably won’t be 100% focused on my body’s movements.

Having said that, I do know that a great number of people enjoying working out to their tunes. And in all honesty, I did go on a brief audiobook/podcast kick when I first received my iPhone. It certainly does up the fun factor! But exercise isn’t really about fun for me. It’s 90 minutes for me to spend honoring my body with movement, breath, and energy. It’s almost a waking meditation for me.

But… if I did listen to music at the gym, it would obviously be Scotty Dynamo’s amazing beats.

So, I turn to you, blog buddies: What music could you recommend for Will?

8 Tips: How to Make Strength Training More Fun!

Dear Davey,

I love doing cardio because I have so much fun with it – I even teach a Zumba class. What can I do to make weight lifting more fun? I can’t stand just staring at the walls and just repeatedly lifting weights.

Bored,
Randall

Randall, you certainly aren’t alone in your disdain for the monotony of weight lifting. And as a fitness instructor, I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you about the importance of doing both cardio AND strength training. So, here are a few tips to make your strength training program a bit more enjoyable:

  1. Bring your iPod! If you’re just staring at walls and repeatedly lifting weights, at least do it to some good music. Create a strength training playlist with your favorite tunes. For a while, I was on an audio book kick – I love listening to stories while at the gym.
  2. Lift with a friend! In Toronto, I have the luxury of exercising with my boyfriend. The time goes by so much faster when you have someone with whom to chat.
  3. Join a class! Since you love Zumba, you may also enjoy a strength training class – most gyms have them! Generally, the lifting is fairly light (so you won’t be building a ton of muscle), but it’s a great class for beginners or people looking to get toned.
  4. Strength train in front of the TV! There are plenty of great strength training exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home (like push-ups, for example). Do 30 push-ups during commercial breaks while watching Glee.
  5. Try something new! Sure, lifting is repetitive by nature. But it doesn’t mean that you need to do the same exercises over and over again. Search on Google for some different exercises to try. Breathe new life into your fitness program.
  6. Set goals, and then achieve them! Why not get competitive with yourself? Challenge yourself to reach a goal (i.e., bench pressing 120 lbs for 8 reps) and then slowly build up to it. You’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach your goal.
  7. Just do one or two sets! Did you know that the vast majority of strength training benefits come from the first set? The added benefit of each additional set is relatively small and diminishing. Limit yourself to two sets (or even one) if your attention span is short.
  8. Lift in between cardio intervals! Since you enjoy cardio, why not break up your workout and add a strength training exercise or two in each 5-minute cardio interval? It just may be enough to keep you interested.

At the end of the day, working out isn’t really about it being fun. Though throwing a few weights around is more fun than living with diabetes or debilitating back problems (the risks of both are minimized by strength training).

If you can enjoy your workout, great! But it’s really more about the benefits of being healthy and fit than it is about fun.

Blog buddies, if you have any tips for making exercise more fun, then please share in the comments below!