Exercise! I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with it. Love it, because I know it does me good; hate it, because it’s bloody hard to get motivated to do it.
But … I’ve always loved dancing!
So I’ve invented this new dance exercise: ‘DacL.NOW’! Good isn’t it! Catchy I feel! Oh, and in case you haven’t got it, ‘DacL.NOW’ stands for ‘Dancing (and cooking) Like No-One’s Watching’. (Ah yes! It’s in the title!). So, rather than just standing in the kitchen, waiting whilst the onions brown, I put on a great song and have a bit of a bop. (Obviously for health & safety reasons, I dance well away from any naked flame or sticky-out handle, of course!),
The thing is, onions only take about 10 minutes to brown, and I have frequently therefore burnt them to a crisp, having lost myself for 30 minutes, or more, in dancing madly to “Let the Good Times Roll” by Ray Charles, “This Is Me” by Keala Settle, “Wake Me Up” by Avicii and so on … but, I have found other things to cook which take slightly longer!
Wholegrain rice (aka brown rice), works well, taking approximately 25 minutes to cook. Result! So you can make your pot of whatever is going to go on top of the rice, and then pop the rice on to cook, set the timer and then, well … JUST DANCE! And as a bonus, you’ll have some healthy, hearty, wholegrain munchies to eat in just half-an-hour!
Boiled potatoes are also good to dance to. You can dance for a good 20 mins whilst they’re bubbling away, or with roasties, you get a 40-minute dance-slot – fabulous! Ah … yes, but because I try to eat really healthily for 20% of the time, roasties are not always appropriate. Annoyingly tempting, but not appropriate! Especially if I want to lose and keep off that bulge around the middle! But potatoes are good to dance to, for 20% of the time!
But then I discovered this relatively trendy new thing I’ve heard about, called HIIT Workout. HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training. It sounds painful, doesn’t it! But does it have to be? No, I don’t think so!
As the name suggests, HIIT is a form of interval training:
“… a cardiovascular exercise alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue” (so says Wiki)
“Until too exhausted to continue”? Are you kidding me? I think that’s just silly. I for one Hot Woman At Menopause, don’t need to feel “too exhausted to continue”, thank you! But, if HIIT does do us good, then we could adopt the good bits and leave out the silly bits, like “until too exhausted to continue”! Yes, I think that sounds better.
So we can ‘DacL.NOW’ for 5 – 10 minutes, HIIT style for as long as it takes to brown the onions, or indeed boil an egg, sauté some asparagus, or sweat some veg for a soup (or for as long as it takes to boil wholegrain rice as aforesaid, if you fancy a longer session). All this can be accompanied by a goldie-oldie or new favourite (tip: don’t forget to set the timer), and knowing that whilst dancing we are “exercising intensely for short periods of time”, it must be good for us! We can also sing along, knowing that singing increases our lung capacity, improves our mood, and apparently releases the same feel-good brain chemicals as sex and chocolate! Game on!
We are going to feel fantastic!
I have compiled a playlist for this new craze, called ‘HWAM Dance Like No-one’s Watching’ which is available on Spotify. It is full of songs that I like to dance and sing to. Find it here! HWAM DacL.NOW
‘DacL.NOW’ is fun to do even when people are watching! Especially if they join in (and if they don’t, it’s even funnier!). My daughter and I frequently ‘DacL.NOW’ in the kitchen and end up in total hysterics – with tears running down our faces, as we show off our ridiculous new leg swings, fancy arm manouvres, and head-jerks (mind your necks)! We end up, out of breath, feeling great and giving the rest of the family a good laugh. And then, if that’s not enough …
… we serve them dinner!
And as for ‘cooking like no-one’s watching’, well, the fact that they may or may not have been watching when we’ve been cooking doesn’t really matter. My family and friends are always appreciative of my (slightly burnt) offerings!
Go on, try it! ‘DacL.NOW’ on your own or with a pal. ‘DacL.NOW’ today and feel the benefits for your mind, body, and soul!
The Science behind DacL.NOW!
When we exercise, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins. These reduce our perception of pain and give us a positive feeling.
Exercise helps to improve flexibility, muscle strength, posture and relaxation, bone health, and heart and lung health.
It can also prevent excess weight gain or help maintain a healthy weight.
Regular exercise helps to prevent or manage health problems and worries, such as stroke, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.
And …. as well as all that, it can help to improve brain function!
What’s not to like?
And here’s a taste of my ‘HWAM DacL.NOW’ music playlist for all sorts of moods:
A slow and stretchy one – “That’s Alright with Me” by Andreya Triana
One to work out to – “Distorted Reality” by Love N Frequency
One for shimmying those shoulders & swinging those hips – “Let the Good Times Roll” by Ray Charles
For a slow & fancy walk – “Benefits” by Didi Crazzz
And everyone loves a bit of ballet! – “Butterflying”: Piano Music by Elena Kats-Chenin
To get you motivated – “This is Me” by Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman
Feeling French and fancy-free – “Je Suis Seul Ce Soir” by Bireli Lagrène
A jumping one to test your pelvic floor – “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas
A goldie oldie – “Downtown” by Petula Clark
Or one for when you’re feeling sassy – “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
Just because we all love to do it – “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees
One for a dramatic singalong – “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
Or a feel-good one – “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves
One for before you put on your makeup – “I Say a Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin
Why not make your own playlists of music you love. Music that will get you up, moving and grooving! There are other readymade playlists entitled ‘Dance Like No-one’s Watching’ too on Spotify, you can pick out the ones you like and add them to your own playlist, ready for whenever you’re cooking and dancing in the kitchen!
Oh, and do share your favourite ‘DacL.NOW’ songs with me won’t you! x
Word of warning: if you suffer from asthma or any specific medical condition where you shouldn’t dance madly or carry out HIIT exercises, This BLOG, or ‘DacL.NOW’ is NOT FOR YOU! However, if you’re considering giving it a go, it’s always a good idea to seek the opinion of your GP if you have any health concerns, or need some guidance on how to exercise (or dance) safely. Erm, your GP won’t be able to advise on the cooking though.
Stay safe. Keep an eye on the cooker, and the saucepan handles. If you have a small kitchen, find another space for ‘DacL.NOW’, or just ‘DL.NOW’ and leave out the ‘ac’. Have fun!