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Body Talks

by Rita Hartley

As you probably know, Body Talks by The Struts, is a song that we do a fun – and high energy! – cardio routine to. But you should also know that, if your body could talk, it would say a resounding THANK YOU for committing to as many Jazzercise classes/week as possible.

Why? Ever heard of sarcopenia? Trust me, it’s no friend, especially if you plan to live long and well. Sarcopenia is age-related muscle wasting. Research has shown that after the age of 30 we can lose 3-8% (another article had that number as high as 10%) of our muscle mass per decade.

Meaning? Miss too many classes, for too long? Your body can quickly become heavier, weaker, less-energized and twice as prone to developing heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.

“As few as two weeks of complete physical inactivity can have the same effect on muscle loss as a decade of aging,” writes John Pope in The O&P Edge, a magazine for healthcare professionals. Yikes! Trade a decade for two weeks?! Scares me so much, I just threw on that Best Friend abdominal song. I’ve dropped down, doing push-ups, planks, plank rotations right now!

Okay. Now that that’s done and my obliques are screaming, here’s a quote worth considering, from MyHealth.Alberta.ca: “Research shows that people actually need to be more physically active as they get older to stay healthy and strong.”

Good to know. There is no magic pill. Well, there is, but you don’t take it by mouth, you take it by body. One of my favourite books, Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., suggests, “Serious exercise, SIX DAYS A WEEK, until death.”

We’re all lucky that, with Jazzercise, we’ve found a fitness program we love, so it’s easy to keep coming to class. While doing research for this blog, I came across an article by Sir Ken Robinson called, “Why dance is just as important as math in school”. I think this quote about dance helps sum up our passion for the program: “It is deep in the heart of every culture throughout history; dance is part of the pulse of humanity. It embraces multiple genres, styles and traditions and is constantly evolving.”

That last sentence applies to Jazzercise too, as our music encompasses various genres, while our movements encompass various styles. If you’ve been coming to class for many years, you’ll also know that Jazzercise has been “constantly evolving” over the 50 years since founder Judi Sheppard Missett started the program.

In closing, let’s take a quick look at some benefits – which I’m sure you’ve experienced – from doing Jazzercise regularly:

  • decrease blood pressure, heart rate
  • increase lung capacity
  • strengthen immune system
  • improve mood, reduce stress
  • improve balance
  • increase strength and muscle mass
  • reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, etc
  • maintain healthy bones, muscles, joints
  • improve quality of life
  • prevent falls
  • reduce risk of dementia

Happy New Year and, as we say in Jazzercise, Happy New Rear!!