Salud Saturday: Shake your Groove-Thang!


Guest Post by Christina Elizabeth Rodriguez (@kikisbetes)

Your parents did it. Your grandparents did it. Tu tío y la tía, they did it too. You most likely have done it, especially in your bedroom, bathroom and in front of the mirror. Most people do it on the weekends, but if you like, you can also do it on the weekdays.

¿De qué hablo?!

¡Cochinos! I’m talking about dancing! Moving those hips! Being sultry and sexy! Representing your cultura Latina!

When a Latino says they can’t dance, don’t lie; you judge. “How can you not dance?! It’s in your blood!” I mean, when you come from a culture that invented salsa, cumbia, and every kind of pachanga music that is good and tasty, how can you not dance? The reason I say this is because there are plenty of us who do, ¿verdad que sí?

For years now, non-Latinos have been trying to learn the art of salsa, tango, cumbia, merengue and all that other stuff they gawk at when Elvis Crepo comes on and they still can’t march to the beat of “Suavemente” or better yet, “Píntame.”  I mean, look, Zumba was even created to give people without rhythm a little sense of the stuff.

So why do I talk about dancing on the LATISM blog? Because if you do it at least a half hour every day, you would be in better shape than you were yesterday! And being healthy is what I’m about. La salud es todo, compadres!

Dancing can help you burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories per hour. The more you weigh, the more you burn. But besides just losing weight and burning calories, think about all the fun you’ll have dancing around your house.

The benefits of dancing outnumber the reasons why you are afraid to dance. You’ll keep up your flexibility, strength, endurance and keep up your sense of well-being. It also keeps you young and happy. Although there’s no scientific research to prove this, use the research your common sense gave you: Have you ever seen anyone dance and feel miserable?

Better yet, have you ever seen a dancer’s body? That should make you want to move every day even if you “can’t dance.” Everyone can dance, by the way. Even teaching someone how to shake their groove thang will burn some calories and make you feel good.

Remember, your body is working when it breaks a sweat so you can do anything from the macarena to the fox trot, but as long as you’re breaking a sweat you’re doing good. And when you dance and have fun, it’s hard not to sweat.

I mention this form of exercise because we don’t like to think about it. Many of us, Latino or not, are too lazy to exercise. Heck, we don’t even want to think about it. But this, this could really help you out. Aerobic exercise can help you lose weight, lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes, clean up your cholesterol problems and overall put you in better health. You don’t have to go to the club to do it or even join a gym. You don’t even need a Zumba instructor to tell you how to move!

So, here I tell you put on your dancing shoes, bust out that Tito Puente and get to dancing because, por el amor de Dios; it’s in your blood! WEPA!!


Christina is a writer who lives in Chicago. She has a Master’s in journalism from the UIUC and writes non-fiction, fiction and poetry. You may find her inspired musings on life, media and music at Mine & Mine Only. Christina is a Type I #diabetic and she writes about living with the disease at theDiabetes Types A Blog.  You may also know her as @kiki416.




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