20s: Hula Hooping
The hula-hoop craze is back – and it isn’t just for kids or circus performers. It’s an excellent cardiovascular workout that whittles the waist, and tones the abdominals and lower back muscles. “It’s a terrific example of a low-impact activity, where you can have a laugh while doing it,” Jacci says.
However, low impact doesn’t necessarily mean low intensity. “Because of all those gyrating moves, it can actually be quite challenging when you first start out. But it’s definitely entertaining and might remind you of hula hooping as a child,” Jacci says. Just take it slow and if you feel any pain at all, stop.
Difficulty rating: 2/5
30s: Line Dancing
This style of dance is a fun mind/body workout for all age groups, regardless of whether you’re a country music fan. “Not only does it improve your coordination and balance, but it’s also a wonderful way to socialise and meet new people,” Jacci says.
Other benefits can include weight loss, stress relief, improved memory skills, stronger bones, and some experts say it may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related disorders. While line dancing is generally considered a low-impact form of exercise, Jacci says you can vary the intensity. Someone who dances for 40 minutes will experience an increased heart rate and even perspire – all signs of a good workout.
Line dancing works the entire body, since the various movements require the use of legs, arms and core muscles. “This provides the benefits of a moderate to high-intensity aerobic workout, with the added benefit of allowing you to engage socially with others,” she says.
Difficulty rating: 2/5
Zumba fans will love the dance fitness workout of Bokwa. Set to high-energy music, this high-intensity activity blends elements of hip-hop with step aerobics. “With Bokwa you don’t have to learn any fancy choreography,” Jacci says. Instead, the steps involve participants’ drawing shapes of letters and numbers with their feet. This helps the steps come naturally and makes them easier to pick up.
Interested in taking up Bokwa? Sign up for free lessons from The Health Promotion Board. Sundays@The Park offers free Bokwa and more classes for those looking to try out this fun activity. Check out the programme details here.
Ideal for beginners and seasoned dancers, Bokwa is also suitable for all ages and fitness levels. “Being similar to Zumba, this is an excellent form of cardiovascular activity, which can increase endurance, burn fat, and improve coordination and balance,” Jacci says.
In addition, studies show that high-intensity intermittent workouts, such as aerobic dance, can reverse heart abnormalities in people with diabetes. There’s the added benefit of social interaction, which makes it a perfect choice for group fitness.
Difficulty rating: 4/5
50s: Play with your grandkids
One of the greatest benefits of exercise is being able to do things you love. And it doesn’t get better than messing about with your grandchildren. Even better, playing together is an excellent way to stay in shape and develop shared interests.
“There’s a level of movement and agility required to be able to participate in any kind of play with toddlers or kids,” Jacci explains. “In most cases, it’s probably giving you a moderate to high-intensity workout.
“Among the many health benefits, you’re likely to notice an improvement in your overall cardiovascular health, as well as strength and fitness. The fact that you have to move in all different directions and angles to play with little kids means it’s delivering a total body workout,” she says. Choose activities that get both you and the kids moving – playing catch, riding bikes and swimming.
Difficulty rating: 3/5