Let’s take a moment to bust a few of the many myths about fitness and how they relate to our Jazzercise program:
1. No pain, no gain. Yes, push yourself, to tax your heart, lungs, muscles and bones, but no, not to the point of pain. If you feel a sharp pain, STOP. Some soreness a day or two after a good workout, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is normal and is an indication your muscles are growing stronger.
2. Muscle weighs heavier than fat. If you think rationally about this, it’s the same as that old perceptual bias question: which weighs more – a pound of lead or a pound of feathers? Of course, a pound is a pound, they weigh the same! Muscle is more dense than body fat, so it takes up less room in your body. Also, muscle provides a better blood supply than fat, so you burn more calories at rest.
3. To work, exercise requires a huge time commitment. The Mayo Clinic recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, so you’re certainly going to get that and more by attending 3-5 hour-long Jazzercise classes/week (and keep in mind we have 30- and 45-minute offerings too). Having held gym memberships in the past, I found the lengthy part of gym-going was getting in, changing, showering, etc. With Jazzercise? You show up a few minutes before class to get your shoes on, maybe chat a bit with friends, and then you can buzz out right after if you wish. In short: you’re in, you’re out.
4. If you exercise, you can eat what you want. I’m currently listening to an anti-diet challenge (through Ten Percent Happier), in which the approach to food is “self-care” as opposed to “self-control”. Our culture includes so many “diet” trends. When you think of it, eating itself is “diet”, yes? Food is fuel, right? I think what happens is that when you commit to a regular exercise program, you tend to make better food choices. Increasing intake of whole foods and reducing processed and sugary foods, as well as portion awareness, will encourage weight loss.
5. Lifting weights will bulk up women’s muscles. First off, in Jazzercise, we do so many reps that we use lower weights, generally 5-10 lbs. Secondly, women have 1/20th to 1/30th the amount of testosterone, so no, we won’t bulk up.
6. Spot reduction works. This is the idea that if you want to lose the gut, do a zillion sit-ups. Nope! What does work? Consistent cardio, which helps shed belly fat. And when combined with an improved diet? The resulting calorie deficit will trim the belly along with other areas of the body.
7. The best time to work out is: fill-in-the-blank. Some studies suggest it’s first thing in the morning. And others suggest that whatever timeframe you pick? You should stick to that time each day you work out. Our Jazzercise regulars know that you have so much fun dancing to the latest tunes that you come to class as often as you can/week at whatever time in the day works best. Perfect.
8. “There’s a magic bullet out there,” says webmd.com. “Yet another joke.” I say? It’s no joke! There is a magic bullet out there and it’s called Jazzercise!