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home : health : health May 24, 2016

3/1/2011 1:42:00 PM
Dance your way to health and fitness
Dance is a workout in disguise. photo by
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Dance is a workout in disguise. photo by
By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

The key to success with any fitness program is enjoyment. The more fun you're having, the harder you'll work - and the more likely you'll stick with it.

Dance may be the most fun you can have in a fitness program.

That's certainly what Patty Silva thinks. She's been teaching Zumba dance fitness for years, recently bringing it to Sisters through Sisters Park & Recreation District.

"It's basically a fun, calorie-burning workout," she says. "It's a workout that feels like a party... it's a workout in disguise."

Well-disguised though it may be, the workout you get from dance is thorough and effective. Dance develops a range of physical capabilities, including flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Dance is a great challenge for people wanting to learn something new - which is, in itself, an important aspect of health, especially as we age.

"You talk about trying to tie your brain and body together," says Sue Coxen of Cascade Fitness, who hosts classes with Sisters dance instructor Lonnie Liddell. "(Dance develops) your motor skills, your agility."

Dance has been a life-changing experience for Sue Leek. She's a competitive ballroom dancer and she loves both the activity and the benefits.

"I have lost 42 pounds at this point," she says. "I have blood pressure of, like, 115/65, all my cholesterol is super low - right where it's supposed to be. And it's the exercise that's done it."

Leek dances through Dance With Travis in Bend. She notes that her instructor will also be teaching ballroom classes through COCC.

Leek observes that getting involved in a dance program is a fun social activity.

"Like any sport, you enjoy the camaraderie," she says.

If you aren't quite ready to shake it in front of a bunch of other people, you can get the benefits of dance at home through a myriad of programs such as the Nintendo Wii "Just Dance" series.

Whether your tastes run to ballroom or to Latin-inspired Zumba, somewhere in the Sisters Country you'll find a program that offers you a great workout in the clever disguise of musical fun.

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