Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dancing Myself Healthy, That's the Plan

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please visit to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member ofClever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps #UbiHipHop

I hate exercising for exercises sake. I am horrible at sports. Turtles will outrun me in a race. I was picked last for every team during school. I still can't look at a rubber dodge ball without shuddering. I stayed in shape by dancing. I did modern dance and learned Scottish and English Country dance when I performed at the renaissance festival. I had to stop during the mother of all ankle injuries and lots of physical therapy. I got better but life got in the way. I stopped dancing. I got a more sedentary job. I gained more weight than the body mass index (BMI) for my height says I should.

I gained this chunk around my tush and hips all on whole foods and fresh vegetables.

My doctor said the extra weight I gained as side effect to a medication should drop right off once I stopped taking it. Two years later, I am still waiting. The way only I'm going to get back to the healthy BMI range for my height is to exercise. Husband suggested I go with him to his gym at work. He reminded me they have a game system so I don't have to work on boring machines or treadmill.

Part of my plan is to get my cardio in usingThe Hip Hop Dance Experience by Ubisoft. The Hip Hop Experience follows the same format, as Ubisoft's other dance games like Dance Party and Dance Battle modes. It also has a Dance Marathon mode where you keep dancing continuous songs until you are too tired to score and it ends the game. I use Dance Marathon mode as my personal aerobics class because if I try to putz around in between songs (as I do when I play dance games by myself) it is game over.

I'm not really into hip hop, but there are three features that make me grab The Hip Hop Dance Experience over my other dance games. The first one is the Power Skooling mode that gives you a step by step tutorial on how to do each move like a dance class. Yeah it is a game and yeah I'm doing it more for exercise than a high score but I'm a dancer at heart and I like to do things correctly. I like they have forward and backward facing avatars to follow on screen. I'm used to learning choreography with a teacher standing with their back to me but I can see their front in mirror. Again, my perfectionism takes over.

Ignore my score. I let this song run without playing so I could take a photo of the screen.

The thing I like most about this game is it has Dance Breaks. It gives you a break to cool down or chug water during an instrumental break in the song.  I am all for raising my heart rate but I have some dance games that go full blast high energy through the whole song. I can't do more than three or so songs on those games without passing out. I should take that as another sign that I’m out of shape.

 Once the weather warms up, I will switch my exercise routine from indoor dance games to riding my bike on our new bike trail. Sure, a year round non-electric based exercise routine would be greener but this is snowy Ohio. You have to adapt the outdoor routines during Snow Slush Mud season. Using the Wii fits into my schedule better than taking a formal dance class too.

 How to do you stay in shape and exercise during the winter months?

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