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A Healthy Mind With Dance: You Are What You Dance!
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A Healthy Mind With Dance: You Are What You Dance!

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in a routine of exercise then you’ve most likely overcome the battle of getting yourself up in the mornings. Sometimes the only motivation we need is the affection of a dog wagging his tail or the thought of the rewarding cup of coffee we’ll have once the exercise is complete. But in our modern multi-media world we tend to bombard our senses with lots of different stimuli without really thinking about the effect it has on our minds and bodies. It pays to become mindful of what you are digesting while you’re actually exercising.

What’s your routine? Whether at the gym or exercising at home, the way you move and what you listen to while you move play an extraordinarily important part. The usual setup may be:

• Put headphones.

• Choose your favorite track.

• Either dance to the music or workout in time to the music.

• Put something else on to distract you mind and give it something else to focus on!

What’s that something else in your case? It happens in most gyms that there’s a TV playing with the sound muted. Usually there are subtitles so that you can follow whatever program happens to be showing but often enough, the images and occasional subheadings are gruesome enough to shock. People who dance at home tend to do the same kind of thing with the telly. Even if the music is banging away you can still keep up with the news and current affairs. But is that really what you want to be doing? Is it even healthy?

Just lately the trial of Anders Breivik commenced in Norway. As the proceedings unfolded the prosecution read out a list of the 77 people who became his victims in that tragic massacre in 2011. Not only were their names listed, but each and every one of their injuries were itemized in a morbid description that went on for over an hour. The impact was intensified by the running subtitle account.

Now, is that something that I really want to reinforce with positive body movement? Do I want to associate that horrific act with the joys of dancing around to Samba music while I'm in a peak physical state? I think the clear and resounding answer is “no”.

There are plenty of suitable alternatives to watching the news while burning calories dancing or vacuuming the house! How about:

• Actually watch the music video that goes with the music you’re listening to… Turn on MTV!

• Use a video program that encourages you to dance along… choose something lively to help engage you and ensure you get the most out of it.

• Invest in some DVDs that show sweeping landscapes or powerful images of nature…

• Use some inspirational words and thoughts to frame your mind positively. This might be in the form of affirmations or mantras or even some uplifting words that have special meaning for you.

If you’ve ever finished your exercise routine and felt more depressed over your celebratory latte than before, then the food for thought you gave yourself during the session probably had something to do with it. Try and make a positive decision to be more mindful of what you digest during your exercise. After all, a mind can only be as healthy with dance as what you dance to!

Street Talk

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