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How to Dance Your Ass Off

Why sweat through a boring exercise routine when you can achieve the same results while having fun?


  • Step 1: Sign up for Zumba, a fitness class that combines moves from salsa, samba, merengue, belly dancing, and other dances to create a workout that claims to burn up to 1,100 calories per hour. Buy DVDs if you can't find a class near you.
  • Step 2: Get the aerobic equivalent of a five-mile walk, and burn about 600 calories per hour, with an evening of square dancing.
  • Step 3: Swivel off 600 calories per hour with hoop dancing, which updates old-school Hula-hooping with dance movements using a bigger, heavier hoop.
  • Step 4: Give your body and your brain a workout with ballroom dancing. Besides burning up to 500 calories per hour, the mental focus required will keep you sharp. One study found it may even stave off dementia in seniors.
  • TIP: People who waltzed three times a week increased their cardio-circulatory fitness as much as people who worked out on treadmills or stationary bicycles.
  • Step 5: Flatten your tummy while losing weight with belly dancing, which shimmies off about 400 calories per hour.
  • TIP: Women who regularly attend belly-dancing classes have greater flexibility and are more relaxed.
  • Step 6: Bump and grind your way to a skinnier body with pole dancing, or shake your booty to the tune of some hip-hop music. Both are fun ways to burn through 300 calories per hour.
  • FACT: A study found members of Britain's Royal Ballet were more fit overall than swimmers on the country's Olympic squad.

You Will Need

  • Dance classes or DVDs
  • Home space
  • Partner (optional)

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