Let’s Jazz Things Up A Bit

Part of my own journey in weight loss was to find a way to be physically active that would be fun and enjoyable. I knew this would be the best way to make it part of my regular routine for the long term. For anyone who does not know this already, it is incredibly intimidating to join a gym or exercise group when you are obese or just generally shy around strangers. I had already lost about 50 pounds when a sweet friend invited me to join her at Jazzercise of Wise, VA. I was determined to overcome my shyness and find something that worked for me. I tried a few other workouts but found they didn’t give me what I was looking for. I finally joined a gym and forced myself to go several days per week for cardio and strength training. I didn’t enjoy it though. What I craved was to find a workout that offered more than cardio and with people that I could bond with and form friendships.

My love of Jazzercise began with the very first class — I was hooked! The Jazzercise revolution was introduced over 45 years ago by Judi Sheppard Missett and is still going strong today. It is a fitness program based on dance that incorporates cardio, strength, Pilates, hip hop, yoga, and kickboxing. They tout that one can burn up to 800 calories per hour in any one of their classes. Now that’s what I call a powerful workout! Most centers offer a variety of courses such as fusion, core, strength, and Dance Mixx. My personal favorite is Dance Mixx! There is always a fun playlist to keep you distracted from the burn! Hallelujah!

Aside from the intense calorie burn and the fun of the music, I find it a perfect way to release stress. Then there is the added joy of the friendships that I have formed with the women in my classes and our instructors. A few things that I really appreciate are that each exercise can be modified for low impact. Instructors incorporate both high and low impact demonstrations during each routine so that even if you have to step down to low impact you still complete a high intensity workout. I also appreciate how warm and friendly our group is and how they welcomed me with open arms and encouraged me as I learned the routines. It is a bit scary to start out knowing you won’t be familiar with the movements and worrying you will look like a flailing rag doll on the dance floor! Never fear, we all feel that way when we start out so we all understand the anxiety that a newbie feels when they visit.

If you are reading this post and you are in or near Wise County, Virginia I invite you to attend Jazzercise of Wise, VA. You can find their Facebook page here. For everyone else, visit the national Jazzercise site here to learn how to find a Jazzercise center near you. If you give it a try, let me know how you like it! I try to attend  three to four days per week. Those workouts are some of the best moments of my week!

Our Wise, VA group for our New Year 2016 class. I'm in the back on the right, my hand is the tallest.
Our Wise, VA group for our New Year 2016 class. I’m in the back on the right, my hand is the tallest.

**Disclaimer: The workouts, movements, and progression information provided on this website are for educational purposes only, and are not to be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product, or course of action. Please check with your physician prior to beginning an exercise routine.

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