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Dancing and weight loss
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Dancing and weight loss

Almost a year ago I started taking ballroom dancing lessons.  I started for several months for only about an hour each week. Now I'm at the studio for about 6-8 hours a week.  I am an elementary teacher.  I went to work and went home to sit on the couch and that was it.  I went from ZERO exercise to dancing 6 hours (minimum) a week.  I have gained a little muscle and lost about an inch in measurements.  A number of people especially a nurse (when they found out how long I've been dancing and about the change in my activiy level) have expressed a concern about how little weight/inches I've lost.  I confess when I started thinking back I too am becoming concerned.  The same nurse suggested I get my thyriod checked.  However, I've heard that unless there is a great deviation in the numbers, my thyroid could still have problems but the doctor could ignore slightly off readings.  Is there anything you can tell me?
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522699_tn?1250594316
I am suprised a medical person 9the nurse) would initiate such concerns for you.

First of all weight loss has a simple equation which however you try to lose it can not be circumvented.

3500 calories =  1lb

Ballroom danicing burns between 250 and 480 calories an hour.... 6 hours a week is less than 1 hour a day -  and a total max of 2880 calories burned more than before yous tarted dancing.

To expect wait lose and inch loss you have to look at your age, lifestyle, weight and BMI before you started and your calorie intake along with  increase in activity and since starting -

Weight is hard to lose full stop but even harder when you have a slow metabolism which is likely the case when you have a job which is not overly energetic.

It is quite surprising how many calories are in things we enjoy and how hard they are to burn off....

Basicaly 2 candy bars a day would cross out any weightloss benefit from the dancing....however you will get tone and muscle and a stronger heart from any sort of increased exercise.... so don't lose heart but don't expect miracles.

Look at your whole lifestyle package...
Calories going in and calories being burned off.....It is a good idea to get a pedometer and just wear it for a few days to see what your usual activity levels are -  mine was about 5-6000 steps a day with out trying to increase it -  the recommended is 10,000 (sounds quite low till you try to reach it)

There is no harm asking for a blood test to check your thyroid levels - but don't overly worry about it.

Good luck with the weight  - inch loss and fitness and conratulations on taking up Ballroom dancing-  iw ould love to give it a go.
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Avatar_m_tn
Your last post is very informative.  And it goes a long way to explaining the idea of a man that was mentioned on nationwide news a few months back - to put a treadmill under people's computer desks.  It is actually a custom made rig that allows a person to stand while they are using their computer.  It DOES take some practice, but users say they get used to it and it becomes second nature (just like learning to drive).  One company owner has actually installed these machines in most employees offices (their choice).

A book I got puts forward the idea that body change can be had more easily through weight training.  To quote - "trade hours of aerobics for minutes of weight training - with dramatic results."  The book is Body For Life by Bill Phillips and was highly recommended by my doctor!  Pick up a copy at your local bookstore and flip through it.  (And don't skip the inside covers which show dozens of amazing before and after shots of men and women, young and old alike!)

And by the way, for anyone that takes the idea of ballroom dancing as something trivial and easy - think again.  I was exhausted after just one class.  It is NOT easy nor trivial.  It takes a LOT of effort and very intense concentration!  I really think everyone should try at least one class.  It IS a fun way to get active again!
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428506_tn?1296560999
My workplace had an ergonomics seminar not too long ago that showed "walkstations" (as oppsed to "workstations") and other things like work tables that can easily be adjusted in height so that desk jockies, like myself, can stand for part of the day.  

The idea of the walkstation is that you don't use it all day.  Maybe there is one for several employees to share.  Also, it is set fairly slow, not that I recall the pace that was said.  So you don't huff and puff, just get some good movement in.  One of the suggested uses was for conference calls, or for checking email, or other shorter tasks.

I'd LOVE a work table that I could instantly raise to work while standing for part of the day, and I would at least give a walkstation a try to see how it goes.  I'm sure lots of use who work on computers all day would benefit so much from these options.  

Of course, who knows if/when these cool advances will be widely available to workers, but that is a matter for another post :-)

As for dancing, laugh if you must but I sometimes do Richard Simmons workouts.  I'm still too big for much high impact stuff, and he is really silly and upbeat so they are nice to use on days when I am not too motivated.  I think the one I've used the most is Pary off the Pounds, and I am sweating a lot by the end.  I did jazz and ballet as a kid, so the moves are all easy for me, and probably even for ppl with no dance experience.  Ballroom would pose more of a learning curve, but sounds like a fun thing to do to and a good way to get out more!

Thanks for the post, CG, and I agree that Whatawoman's got a lot of good info here, too.

~W
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