Hey, hey, everyone!! I hope you’re all having a lovely Thursday! It’s a beautiful day here — a bit on the cool side, but the sky literally matches my sky blue Crayola crayon today. It’s so perfect! If I didn’t have so much work to catch up on, I’d go outside for a walk! Alas, there will be plenty more beautiful days ahead, and I will be outside when they arrive!
So it’s been a rough week around here in just about every sense of the word. Joshua’s been inhabited by some kind of demon since Monday. He’s been the poster child for the Terrible Twos, I’ll tell you! Laughing at my requests for him to clean up his toys, refusing dinner and then asking for “ice cream pops”, waking up four times a night…ugh! It’s been frustrating, to say the least. Fortunately, I’ve been able to channel the negative energy his behavior has generated in me into my workouts. I’ve been alternating between or doing some combination of Zumba, jump rope, stationary bike, and the exercises from this lovely Pinterest graphic every time I’ve exercised recently, and I’ve felt fabulous afterwards. (Although I’ll quit doing the crunches from here on out; as I learned from reading Becca’s post, they’re basically pointless (which she explains in the Abs section of the Strength Training segment of the post), so I won’t bother doing them anymore. Anyway, it’s taken all I have not to shout out, “Woooooo!!” during each workout — it’s been tough enough getting Joshua to fall asleep in the first place, and I’m definitely not about to wake him up! (Not to mention I’d look and feel really stupid, but I digress.)
I’d be getting nowhere fast without music (especially for Zumba, as I’m sure you can imagine!), but having music takes exercise to a completely different, and much more enjoyable, level for me. As someone with a dance background, I have a strong sense of rhythm and connection to music. That’s why I sit under a blanket or “Indian-style” when watching shows like Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance: even when the rest of my body is sitting still, I look down at my feet and watch my toes twitch and wiggle. I can’t help it; it’s part of who I am. That inability to hold still, and instead find and move to the beat in a piece of music, is ultimately what carries me through my workouts.
Take, for example, two of my favorite YouTube videos. Lauren Fitzgerald, who teaches Zumba classes in Oklahoma, has gained quite a following (myself included!) with her choices of music and choreography. I’ve created a playlist containing many of her videos but don’t use them solely for Zumba. Give them a quick listen and you’ll quickly realize why.
Quiero Bailar, by 3BallMTY:
Can’t Hold Us, by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis:
Anyone who likes to dance would very quickly find the rhythm in these songs and put them to good use for jumping jacks, squats, and so on. Aside from that, I just like how they sound in my old-school Sony headphones. Yup, these headphones.
Image via Sony
Yeah, I know you clicked on Sony and saw they were children’s headphones. What — I have a small head! Besides that, I like them, I hate earbuds, and they work for me — don’t judge!
What kinds of music get you excited for exercise?