An Ode to Jazzercise

I’m meaty;  I played softball growing up. It was easy to stand at first base and just bend down to scoop up balls. I quit sports once they required you do a bunch of running {strategic}. When I run, parts of my body shake that I didn't know I had and I just end up angry. So, being trendy and healthy by running marathons is out for me. You can also cross out P90x and Crossfit and those home workout videos that I never end up doing.

But I love dancing; first one on the dance floor at a wedding and last one to leave. I’m not sure I left the dance floor at my own wedding reception. My shoes were off, sweaty pits, the whole thing. So I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite things. Now, when I tell you what it is, you’ll probably think of women in the 80’s with weird hair, sweatbands, tights, and leotards. 

Yes, it’s Jazzercise.

Yes, it still exists.

Yes, I’m the youngest person in class.

 

We don’t wear tights and I haven’t seen a leotard yet but Jazzercise is the only excuse I have to wear spandex and dance intensely as a responsible adult.

So what is Jazzercise, really? Sometimes the routines include shaking hips to Shakira, booty to Usher, or doing repetitive squats to Ke$ha. But the workout is no joke. It takes your heart rate up the curve through cardio and strength training, incorporating elements of kickboxing, pilates, and aerobics in the dance routines. And the best part? You get to dance for the whole hour.

I first joined Jazzercise in 2010 after a doctor looked me straight in the eye and said I’d get diabetes if I didn’t change my lifestyle soon. It was a necessary decision in my life to start taking my health seriously. In the course of five years, I've lost 40 pounds, balanced my chronic health issues, and made a lifestyle out of good food and fun exercise.

Jazzercise is a beautiful community full of vibrant, strong women (and men). Old and young, big and small, we sweat together, set goals together, and do it for our health together. I’m grateful for Jazzercise and the ways it jump started my health and continues to be a huge source of joy and support in my life.

I’m waiting for the day to sport my leotard. If anyone wants to join me, you can find me shaking my hips (almost) every day at 5:30 p.m.