New Dance Cardio Combo {video}

Morning! How’s the day treating you so far??

Last night was a Zumba night! After class, I headed to the madre’s, where the family was enjoying a giant feast to celebrate Michaela’s b-day. There is nothing like shredded chicken, homemade beans, sliced avocado and sangria after a sweaty Zumba class. We cheered for the Wildcats -CARDIAC CATS!! Oh em geeeee- and then came back home. (I just wrote “cake back home.” This is why:) 

Unnamed 2

Even though I had a small Zumba class last night -it’s been slow to start, and hasn’t been advertised by the studio yet- I was thinking about how much I LOVE to dance for my workouts. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed and preferred. When I was really young and had no idea of the concept of “working out,” I just knew I liked to dance. It always keeps me on my toes (<- lame pun), and by constantly switching up new music, styles and choreography, I feel like it is one of the few things that hasn’t totally turned my brain into mama mush. (Yesterday, I was trying to think of a word for about two minutes and then it finally came to me. “Appropriate.” Scary.)

Dancing provides cardiovascular benefits in addition to improvements in balance, coordination and agility. It’s also a great mental workout! In a 2003  study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 469 men and women were studied from 1980-2001, and over that span of time, they participated in a variety of leisure activities, including brain-stimulating hobbies (reading, crossword puzzles, writing, musical instruments) and physical activities (ballroom dancing, team sports and swimming). Over the course of the study, 124 people developed dementia, 61 developed Alzheimer’s disease, 30 vascular dementia (strokes), 25-mixed dementia and eight had other types of dementia. The mental activities provided a reduced risk of dementia, but of all the physical activities, dancing was the only one that demonstrated a reduced risk of developing dementia. Pretty interesting, huh? It’s a physical AND mental workout.

Here’s a little dance cardio combo that Sasha and I put together. I tried to make a cool pinnable image, but they were all ridiculous πŸ˜‰

Screen shot

It would be perfect for today’s Winter Shape Up warmup or as a quick burst of activity during the day. Hope you enjoy!!



How often do you dance each week? Favorite “leisure” hobby? Mine is reading. Any spare time I find, I pick up my Kindle πŸ™‚

See ya later on the Fashion page!





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  1. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on January 30, 2014 at 11:19 am

    You know I love dance workouts! It’s the one way I feel like you can really enjoy the music because you are moving with it and it is not just background noise! And you are right it is really good for the brain as well! I probably dance 3x per week!

  2. Erin (Running Tall) on January 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Dance cardio is my favorite! Hence why I teach zumba..I love dancing like a fool haha! Right now I’m teaching it three times a week so I get my dance on quite regularly. I’m totally going to do this combo by myself for a warm up this weekend!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      oh, hope you enjoy it! what’s your favorite zumba warm up song right now? i’m looking for a new one πŸ™‚

      • Erin (Running Tall) on January 31, 2014 at 10:36 am

        Right now I’m using Grown Woman by Beyonce and Descontrol by Daddy Yankee but I’m looking to change it up next week. Avicci’s You Make Me is on the shortlist to choreo! And funny enough, I used Work B*tch a few months ago haha! The class looooved it.

        • Fitnessista on January 31, 2014 at 10:47 am

          oh, i’ll check those both out!! LOVE avicci πŸ™‚

  3. Brynn on January 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I love dancing and simply don’t do it enough!! However, there are times when a song comes on Pandora and I start dancing around my house. No shame. Ha!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      no shame at all πŸ™‚

  4. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on January 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I wish I loved dancing enough to incorporate it into my fitness. I was a dancer for 10 years (ballet, tap & jazz), but now I just feel like a big goof when I dance. I even lived in Spain & Mexico for years and learned latin dances. Not sure if I got burnt out or what. I would like to get back into it though.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      oh my goooosshhh, i would love to live in spain (or mexico!). do you like zumba or meh?

      • Megan @ The Skinny-Life on January 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm

        I wish I did, but I feel like a goof jumping around when I do it. I recently did a review on my blog of a friend’s class. I was really hoping I could get into it, but no such luck!

  5. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on January 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I realized that my dancing might be out of control when the “Pirate Flag” song came out. There’s a verse that says “she loves to dance” and my husband would always kind of point and half-smile. I guess I do uncontrollably bust a move at least a couple times a day!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      hahaha amazing πŸ™‚

  6. Cassie Vaughn on January 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I love to dance, but I end up with serious back issues when I do dance inspired workouts. πŸ™ So I just boogie around my kitchen when I’m cooking. I also love to read.

  7. Morgan on January 30, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Looks like so much fun! Whenever I am not feeling a cardio workout I can always convince myself to do a dance segment or just dance around my home gym with my headphones on looking just a little crazy if my husband walks in πŸ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      haha i love it πŸ™‚

  8. Tracy on January 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Reading is definitely my favorite too. My Kindle is always nearby. If not, the kindle app on my phone comes in handy!!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      ohhh how did i not know there was an app?

      • Tracy on January 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm

        Yep! And it syncs automatically with your Kindle!

  9. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on January 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    OMG, you would only catch me dancing in my kitchen or at a wedding. I am quite uncoordinated and most of my dancing is meant to make people laugh. You know, doing the sprinkler, shopping cart, etc. I wish I could look good doing it, but I just don’t and I’m okay with that. I’d rather run for exercise (which I love) and make my husband crack up with my kitchen break dancing.

    Leisure time is definitely for reading! I am bookworm nerd! What have you read lately that you’ve really enjoyed? I’m reading Game of Thrones. Trying to get through all four books before the fourth season comes back in the spring.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      haha i LOVE dancing like that! my robot is pretty clutch πŸ˜‰
      i’m about to finish “jab, jab, jab, right hook” and “the baby whisperer for toddlers.” my new goal is to read at least two books per month. i’ve heard great things about game of thrones!

      • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on January 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

        Two books a month and you have a two year old? Impressive goal! Reading more is one of my goals for the new year as well. I always read before I go to bed, but I want to do more reading to relax instead of watching TV.

        I’ve heard that Jab book is pretty good. Do you plan to incorporate book reviews on your blog? I know you’ve done them before. I always love hearing if a book lives up to its notoriety.

        • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm

          realistic? probably not haha. i read at night before bed, which is around 11pm. i also have another goal to go to bed earlier… haha.
          the jab book is AMAZING. i highly recommend it to all of my friends who have blogs or work in social media. i was thinking of doing a little january book review post when i finish them

          • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on January 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

            Haha. I hear you on the conflicting goals. Well, as someone who is absolutely exhausted right now, I say sleep trumps books! Will definitely check out that book! Look forward to the review!

  10. Kelly on January 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I love dance workouts for my cardio. I’m trying to incorporate more strength in my workouts but for cardio, coreography type workouts are my favorite. I’m not very good (read; comfortable) with freestyle dancing, like at clubs or weddings but do love when it’s coreographed, like Zumba (or even step). I’m sooo fortunate to have a couple of really fun instructors that I love. I have some dance CD’s but most of the time, they aren’t half as fun as a live class. When I was younger, I took formal dance classes until my 1st car, job and high school came along and then I stopped. I always said it would be fun if they would develop a dance class for adults that didn’t include recitals and buying costumes but just purely for exercise. That is zumba, for me!

    Here’s to hoping your zumba class keeps growing. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      thank you! that’s zumba for me, too. we’re lucky to have a dance fitness studio here in tucson. lots of adults go and the classes are drop-in. no recitals to worry about πŸ™‚

  11. Jackie on January 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I wish I had more coordination!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      coordination schmoordination πŸ˜‰

  12. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats on January 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Haha tried this but I couldn’t get the moves quickly enough! My only dance experience is some Jazzercise and Zumba… I saw you have a couple other dance videos, would any of them be good for beginners, or do you have any recommendations?

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      i have some zumba ones up that i think you’d like!

  13. Abi@AbsofSteel on January 30, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I rarely dance, when I do it’s not pretty but I usually enjoy it. Favorite leisure activity is a toss up between reading and baking.

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      loooove baking too πŸ™‚

  14. Justine on January 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Omg I love this video! So much fun! I have very minimal coordination so after going through the video maybe 8 times, I think I kinda got the hang of it! Love the step by step instruction in the beginning! Thanks for the fun girls:)

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      wahoo! so happy you had fun!

  15. Mary Jane on January 30, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I love this post!! I do a turbo kick class sometimes and it is a wonderful mix of dance moves, boxing and kicking. It was truly fun and I forget that I’m working out. I’ve started dancing more at home since having my little man. And getting him to dance with me makes my heart happy. Leisure activity for me is definitely reading, which I try to do every night before bed. Keep on dancing and I hope to try your dance cardio post soon!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      dancing with little ones is SO fun. when i want to do something active at home, i’ll put on a zumba DVD or the zumba game for xbox, and liv does it with me. such a blast!
      i try to read every night before bed, too. at least until i fall asleep πŸ˜‰

  16. Jasmyne Teoma @ SpiceItUpFitness on January 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I love Zumba, it’s such a wonderful way to get your heart pumping! A little secret is that I dance for at least 5 minutes each day, random dancing. I’ve decided to redefine what “adulthood really is.” And thank you for sharing that it took some time to think of the right word, that has been happening to me more and more lately and I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone! Awesome blog!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      thank you for reading!

  17. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on January 30, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Fun video! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      thank you! hope you have a great day

  18. Bri on January 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    FUN dance! Can’t wait to try it! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      :)! hope you enjoy!

  19. Julie on January 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Can’t wait to try this!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      let me know what you think! πŸ™‚

  20. Stephanie B. on January 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I’m definitely not a natural dancer, but I’ve really come to love Zumba. My mom started going a few years ago and convinced me to go with her, and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. In a perfect week, I’d go 3 times (I have a favorite instructor so I’m always up for taking her class when she teaches!). I took a Zumba class last night and was thinking to myself that I’m pretty sure it’s the only fitness class where I always want it to last longer instead of being relieved when it’s over. I’m really glad I got a heart rate monitor recently because I honestly didn’t think it was as challenging of a workout as some other group exercise classes I like to take, but I can see that I really am getting my heart rate up and burning lots of calories – it just doesn’t seem like as much work because it’s so fun!

  21. Ali on January 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    So fun! You guys are awesome <3

  22. Jaclyn on January 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I love watching you dance Gina! Shake ittttt

  23. Rachel on January 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Reading is my favorite too. Followed by exercise/interior decorating/DIY/cooking blogs. And Pinterest. I’m trying to ease up on my internet information consumption though. I tend to get too excited at night to sleep. All those great ideas!

    Did my second round of week 1 workout!! You’re amazing.

  24. Tricia @ Balance In Progress on January 30, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Reading is my favorite leisure activity as well. 2 of my friends and I started a book club 2 years ago and it has been the best motivation to keep up with my reading. My friends are also both librarians so I get GREAT recommendations!

  25. Brittany on January 30, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Oh I dance all the time. In my hallway, on my way to the bathroom, to and from the fridge to the counter. It happens all the time. But I never said its pretty!! I’m a horrible dancer!!

  26. Kristine on January 30, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Oh man I was at the Cats vs Stanford game last night – NAIL BITER! Way too close for comfort. Lute was there too and I finally got to meet him which… pretty much made my life. Iggy (Igoudala) was there too! I actually think you and I may have been the same year at UA – 2006? #BTFD πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      AHHHH! I LOVE LUUUUUUUUTE. πŸ™‚ i saw iggy on tv and was so excited. i was 07! were you in eller too?! BTFD

      • Kristine on January 30, 2014 at 11:45 pm

        I was, no joke, BEYOND excited about Lute. I beelined to his seat at halftime and begged for a photo. I minored in business.. (business math scarred me for life and made me change my major) Were you in a house? I was Chi O but had a lot of Pi Phi and Kappa friends too! Trying to scheme a way to get to the Cal game Saturday – I miss McKale!! (and Beyond Bread but that’s an entirely different story!)

  27. Livi on January 30, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I love to dance, but usually only do it when I go out! I am so embarrassed in dance classes!

  28. Sarah @ hairway to vegan on January 31, 2014 at 12:23 am

    reading>dancing. That may be because I have no rhythm and two left feet.

  29. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on January 31, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I dance once a week at a Zumba class. I wish I did it more, I love it so much!

  30. Mia on January 31, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I never do dance type workout classes. I always feel like I’m not following/doing it correctly, and i spend most of the class fumbling/doing it wrong. Though actually as i write this i realized that it’s been many many years since I’ve tried one, and I’ve become way less gym self conscience, so maybe my lack of coordination would be less of a problem? How important is it to get the moves exactly? While i don’t do dance class workouts, i do LOVE playing Just Dance on days that i didn’t get a workout in. Does that count?

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