Getting Your Kicks

You peek into the aerobics room on your way out the door and see that they’re kicking up a storm in there. At first, they look like either an array of Rockettes or a Broadway dance audition. Knees are pumping, legs are snapping, and feet are flying everywhere.

And let’s not forget the sweat. It’s pouring down by the bucket.

Sure, to the curious on-watcher, it would be difficult not to be swept up into the most publicized cardio craze to capture the nation in nearly two decades. Not only can cardio kickboxing pack a knockout punch for your fitness goals, but judging by the expressions on the faces of its participants, the activity is also a knee-slapping good time.

Millions across the country are getting a kick out of cardio kickboxing, whether it’s in the form of the insanely popular Tae-Bo or some of the more general forms offered by local martial artists, fitness trainers, and boxing fanatics.

Not since Jane Fonda helped trigger the aerobics explosion in the 1980’s has any form of cardiovascular fitness captivated the country so convincingly. It seems like cardio kickboxing classes are cropping up in every aerobics room, in every gym, in every city across America. The man behind most of this is Billy Blanks, the seven-time Martial Arts champion and the quick-kicking dynamo you’ll see on the countless Tae-Bo infomercials.

A handful of Hollywood celebrities are swearing by it – guys like Sinbad, Shaqille O’Neal, and Magic Johnson. Gals like Pamela Anderson, Goldie Hawn, and Carmen Electra are saying much of the same.

But next time you’re on your way out the gym door, stop and take a closer look in the aerobics room. You may even recognize a few faces.

After all, you don’t need to be Van Damme to do it. You can simply be the guy next door.

Cardio kickboxing, like aerobics classes, is usually offered in three different forms of intensity: low-impact, moderate-impact, and high-impact. While the low-impact version is an excellent way to obtain flexibility and form, the intensity of the high-impact class is a tremendous method of losing weight and strengthening the heart.

After a few weeks of taking the classes, you’re likely to build endurance, while improving your speed, power, and agility.

But the appeal in cardio kickboxing lies elsewhere. While benefiting from a fantastic sweat session, participants also learn the various punches and kicks that have derived from different Martial Arts forms. In other words, as much of a fitness class that it is, it is also a self-defense class.

Don’t walk into a cardio kickboxing class and expect to emerge as Bruce Lee. This is merely a class engineered to combine self-defense techniques with cardiovascular workouts and add a much-needed “kick” to your everyday workouts.

The most common testimony from participants generally revolves around two ideas. One is that cardio kickboxing is ideal in toning up the muscles, partiuclarly in the arms and legs, while getting you into top shape. And secondly, the kickboxing sessions, which many claim are indeed highly addictive, break up the monotony of those repetitive aerobics classes.

Above all, cardio kickboxing classes provide you in a shorter time with what hours of chugging along on the Stairmaster or stationary bike will. The full body workout – the punches, the kicks, the non-stop pivoting and moving – shoot by like a Jackie Chan movie. And you’ll be equally exhausted when it’s over.

Why Are We So Obsessed With Losing Weight?

While doing some posting on a few forums that I am a member of, I was reading posts about people trying to lose weight and some of the ladies who were saying they still needed to lose 10-20 pounds look so skinny right now they look like they are skeletons!

So why is America so obsessed about their weight? Could it be because of all the commercials, MTV, the skinny stars and sports fanatics who are constantly bombarding us with their idea of an attractive person? The tv or movie commercials that say if you are not a size 4 you are overweight!

I was watching The Devil Loves Prada the other night and was so upset when they told the secretary that she was a pig at a size 4! I couldn’t imagine being in a size 4, let alone being told I needed to lose weight to be in a size 0 in order to look good! Come on!

Why are we so obsessed?

Why can’t we love ourselves for ourselves?

Below is what I posted in reply to someone asking for diet tips etc:

I too am doing a “healthy living lifestyle” change…I have found for myself if I focus on losing weight I want to eat more items that are bad for me. I refuse to tell myself I am losing weight…I don’t need to lose weight I just need to become healthier and tone up, sure there may be a few pounds I could lose BUT that should not be the main focus, becoming healthy should be.

What I have been doing, and this is for me as it works for me, is eating more raw fruits and vegetables, have a salad already made up as during the day I reach for something quick and easy to eat since I am working or chasing my 4 yr old around that I don’t want to take the time to cook for myself.

I also have added more water to my diet, when I get hungry and its not meal or snack time I reach for the water.

Another thing I have been doing is finding DVD’s that I enjoy some of you may laugh at the one I do that I just find so much fun to do and the time just melts away (no pun intended lol) I bought Carmen Electra’s Strip Tease aerobics…I know but you know what it is so much fun! I also vary it with Turbo Jam and Yoga Booty Ballet all of them are fun and have great music that keeps me going.

Cutting out the real sugars I can’t do as far as using items like Splenda etc because I don’t feel they are safe, so I just cut down on how much real sugar I use in my coffee which I have also cut back from 2 pots, yep 2 pots a day, to 2 cups a day which is a feat in and of itself for me a coffee addict.

Everyone says to stop eating when you are not hungry, that’s simple if you have the will power or are not using food to deal with other issues as I have been doing since my MIL died.

I was anorexic and bulimic once, sorry about the sp, and I know all about eating and emotional disorders. If you look at food as either the enemy or a comfort food you need to see your doctor about those issues so you can get those resolved before you start any diet…trust me I have been on both sides: so skinny I looked like I was dying, I was…and being overweight it was affecting my entire health and mental well being and for me both sides I was dealing with emotional problems and the only way I felt in control was with food.

Good luck to those who are trying to lose weight, for me this year my goal is healthy living! I did this once 10 years ago, just watched what I ate and exercised 5 days out of 7 and lost 30 pounds while hubby was in Korea. So I know I can do it.

Besides you need to be at a healthy weight and not a skinny minny…who needs to look like a model or those ladies on tv who everyone loves and wants to be like.

If you are happy with the way you look or know your goal weight so you can feel better is to only lose 10 pounds then go for the 10 pounds and not the 20 pounds to fit societies image…sorry this is a hot topic for me, I have two nieces right now that are so thin they would blow away if the wind picks up and they are starving themselves because they want to look like the stars or sports people they know when I look at them all I see is what I did to myself and my body and how many of my health issue right now stem from not loving myself for me.

So what if you weigh 145 are you in good shape? Do you love what you see? If not you need to explore whether it is really for health reasons or emotional reasons why you want to lose weight…

I am off my soapbox now but I just wanted to wish all of you good health and let you know some of the things I do 🙂