Aqua Ballet Lower Body Workout

We are filming for several hours a day starting at the crack of dawn. The weather is cooler but not for long. My only relief has been to strip off my workout clothes, which are almost pasted to my body, jump into a swimsuit and plunge into the pool. After about 45 minutes of laps back and forth (I’m so motivated from watching all these Olympic swimming trials on TV) I get an idea. What if I try some ballet barre exercises in the water, holding on to the side of the pool? Aqua Ballet Barre, not such a bad idea I’m thinking. So I try one of my on land favorites for my legs and butt. I like it! I can really feel it working. It may be even more effective with the water for added resistance.

Try it yourself.

AQUA BALLET WORKOUT:

Stand facing front, heels together, feet turned out. Hold on to the edge of the pool with your right hand. Slowly bend left knee, bringing foot up to right knee forming a triangle. Slowly stretch leg in front of body. Then bring foot back to the knee of the standing leg and return to the starting position. Repeat 4 times to the Front, Side, and Back.

Turn around and repeat exercise on the other leg holding on with your left hand.

Below are Aqua Ballet Workout Photos

Aqua Ballet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aerobics May Improve Memory

Aerobics May Improve MemoryAerobics May Improve Memory.
I became interested in exercise and memory several years ago when my older students began to tell me that their memories seemed to improve after they took my class.
I was teaching mostly dance-exercise in those days. I started with simple steps and built up to a pretty complex routine.
There has to be a connection I thought, between the physical movement, making your brain learn this routine, and improved memory.
I’m no scientist but I was curious. So I started to break it down.
What I was having people do is learn short phrases of movement and then link them together. The cardio dance routine required them to move forward and back, side to side, remember specific steps; and stay in rhythm.
This was a real challenge for many of my students who had never done anything like this before. As they got more proficient, the class became a social gathering; because of this shared experience.
My students felt energized afterwards, not exhausted. They told me that besides getting a good body workout they were getting a memory workout as well. They said they could actually remember things better.
I wondered if there was science to support our anecdotal experience.
I contacted a couple of local Alzheimer’s specialists (there was no internet back then) and they told me – you’re probably right but there weren’t any specific studies on this more than 20 years ago.
Even now the research is not conclusive. But, technology in the last 15 years has allowed science to discover a lot more about the brain.
Vascular memory loss has been linked to heart disease and cardio fitness is a major factor in preventing and managing that issue. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain improving mental function. Cardio fitness has been shown to reduce loss of brain cells in older adults.
A study of 1,449 older adults shows those who in middle age exercised vigorously enough to perspire and breathe hard for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week reduced their risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 60 percent.*
But cardio is just part of the equation.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that certain types of dance, particularly with routines to learn and remember, may help prevent age-onset memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. “…. cognitive activity may stave off dementia by increasing a person’s “cognitive reserve.” **
And a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, says activities that combined mental and social as well as physical stimulation offered the greatest protection against dementia***
Activity is the active word. Be physically active, mentally active and socially active, preferably all at once. Taking a Cardio Dance class or getting together with friends to do a Cardio Dance DVD is a good place to start. And to this day, when I start my cardio dance class I say,
“It’s time to workout our hearts and minds!”

*Rovio, Suvi; Kareholt, Ingemar; Helkala, Eeva-Liisa; Viitanen, Matti; Winblad, Bengt; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Soininen, Hilkka; Nissinen, Aulikki; and Kivipelto, Miia. “Leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” The Lancet Neurology; published online Oct. 4, 2005.
** Dr Joe Verghese, lead author of study conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, N Engl J Med, 2003; 348:2508-2516.
***Karp, Anita; Paillard-Borg, Stephanie; Wang, Hui-Xin; Silverstein, Merrill; Winblad, Bengt; and Fratiglioni, Laura. “Mental, Physical and Social Components in Common Leisure Activities in Old Age in Relation to Dementia: Findings from the Kungsholmen Project.” Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Philadelphia, Penn., July 17 – 22, 2004. Abstract published in Neurobiology of Aging, July 2004, Vol. 25, S2: p. S313.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761497/

Compared with the control group, the exercise group significantly improved in verbal fluency (p = 0.048), word list delayed recall (p = 0.038), word list recognition (p = 0.007), and total CERAD-K score (p = 0.037)

  • Metabolic syndrome (MS) is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment.
  • Aerobic exercise improves cognitive function in elderly people and contributes to the prevention of degenerative neurological disease and brain damage. Dance sport is a form of aerobic exercise that has the additional benefits of stimulating the emotions, promoting social interaction, and exposing subjects to acoustic stimulation and music.
  • In the present study, dance exercise for a 6-month period improved cognitive function in older adults with MS. In particular, positive effects were observed in verbal fluency, word list delayed recall, word list recognition, and the total CERAD-K score.
  • Our data suggest that the implementation of dance exercise programs may be an effective means of prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders.
  • http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/abstract

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Dance Exercise: The Magic of Movement

Maribai_Holland3RED HI KICKDance exercise!

America is experiencing a dance renaissance. Thanks to the success of TV shows like “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, people are starting to dance again

In this era of personal trainers and hi-tech exercise equipment, dance exercise classes and videos are resurging to new heights of popularity.

From ancient times people enjoyed coming together to move and communicate non-verbally. Looking back at the history of dance virtually every community gained togetherness by dancing to insure a good harvest, asking for rain, or celebrating a season. There are folk dances representing movement styles from every part of the world.

Expressive movement comes from a natural place within us. We’re all born knowing how to move. It’s innate, part of our humanity. As kids, we stamp our feet when angry, flail our bodies when frustrated and jump for joy. Humans have been expressing themselves through movement since the beginning of time. That movement has a purpose. It was never suppose to go away. But somehow, our so-called modern culture saw that release of tension, that form of human expression as primitive. So we have been repressing it for hundreds of years.

Dance Exercise

Our technology has brought us some great things. But it negates that part of who we are. We hardly have to move anymore and so we don’t-until we see ourselves falling apart at middle age. Turns out, movement was never primitive at all!

It’s primal! Primal is natural. Primal is good. It’s part of who we are, what we’re meant to be.

Studies show that expressive movement can help heal physical ailments and relieve psychological trauma. It can also get you fit, and Fitness=Longevity.

Get back in touch with that part of yourself that knows how to move, and feel better because of it. Tap into that mind-body connection that’s been there waiting for you. Release yourself from the conventional hard-body exercise experience.

Get back to your roots at this important time in your life. It’s as simple as turning on some music and dancing to the beat. Go ahead. Try a dance exercise class and dance yourself fit!

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Aerobic Rant: Dust Off Your Sneakers

Exercise has always been trendy. From Jack LaLanne to the latest Wii technology, I’m sure you can fill in the blanks decade by decade. I’m not particularly upset by that. Trends drive the industry.

Some of them are downright wonderful as is the case towards softer workouts like yoga and pilates. One thing that does bug me though is the trend towards doing only yoga and pilates. They do little or nothing for your heart.

I love these forms of exercise but not at the expense of the basics.Remember Aerobics? (It’s trendier to call it cardio now)
But if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get fit, you simply ain’t gonna be fit unless you get a regular dose of cardio. In case you forgot, aerobics is any exercise using your large muscle groups to increase the body’s need for oxygen over an extended period of time. Low impact Cardio Dance, Brisk Walking, Jogging, Biking and Swimming, are all good forms of aerobic exercise.According to the National Institutes of Health a half hour of moderate aerobic exercise a day can reduce risk of heart attack by 50% and have a positive effect on most of the problems associated with aging.

Cardio energizes your body from the inside out. Your heart is pumping like mad. Your lungs and arteries are hard at work delivering the oxygen that you need to keep going.
Your muscles are getting a great workout carrying your body around. You’re burning a bunch of calories and if you keep it up for 30 minutes or more your natural mood enhancers the endorphins kick in and you get the exerciser’s high.

You can see why you’d want to get a daily dose of aerobic exercise.It goes a long way toward reducing our risk for disease, managing our weight, and lightening our mood to help us stay fabulous forever.

So dust off your sneakers.

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Dance Yourself Fit: The Magic of Movement

America is experiencing a dance renaissance. Thanks to the success of TV shows like “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”, people are starting to dance again.
In this era of personal trainers and hi-tech exercise equipment, dance exercise classes and videos are resurging to new heights of popularity.
From ancient times people enjoyed coming together to move and communicate non-verbally. Looking back at the history of dance virtually every community gained togetherness by dancing to insure a good harvest, asking for rain, or celebrating a season. There are folk dances representing movement styles from every part of the world.

Expressive movement comes from a natural place within us. We’re all born knowing how to move. It’s innate, part of our humanity. As kids, we stamp our feet when angry, flail our bodies when frustrated and jump for joy. Humans have been expressing themselves through movement since the beginning of time. That movement has a purpose. It was never supposed to go away. But somehow, our so-called modern culture saw that release of tension, that form of human expression as primitive. So we have been repressing it for hundreds of years.

Our technology has brought us some great things. But it negates that part of who we are. We hardly have to move anymore and so we don’t-until we see ourselves falling apart at middle age. Turns out, movement was never primitive at all!
It’s primal! Primal is natural. Primal is good. It’s part of who we are, what we’re meant to be.

Studies show that expressive movement can help heal physical ailments and relieve psychological trauma. It can also get you fit, and Fitness=Longevity.

Get back in touch with that part of yourself that knows how to move, and feel better because of it. Tap into that mind-body connection that’s been there waiting for you. Release yourself from the conventional hard-body exercise experience.

Get back to your roots at this important time in your life. It’s as simple as turning on some music and dancing to the beat. Go ahead. Dance yourself fit.

Send your Moving Free with Mirabai questions to:askmirabai@movingfree.com

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