Finish Line Women

Exercise Awesome: Dance Walking


As Amy Poehler (from Parks and Recreation) says, “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”

Dance walking, a.k.a. freestyle dancing along a predetermined route within a specific amount of time, a.k.a. the most awesome exercise to date, has the hardcore intensity of running, but the fun of hitting the dance floor.

I met up with the Boulder’s Dance Walking group coordinator, Brooke Null, and she enforces that you just got to come do it before you are, “too hesitant to the point where it keeps you from doing it.” It’s also less awkward when you have your crew, or support system, doing it with you. Try to find one in your area.

Dance walking is no stroll in the park, either. Whether you’re doing the Running Man or practicing your Gangnam Style, your heart rate is up the entire time. You’re burning fat with the constant cardio, and you can fine-tune any muscle groups you want to workout with the dance moves you choose to do. I’d suggest Moonwalking for intense calf burning and the Harlem Shake if your shoulders and knees are tight. Please, no twerking.

If constant sweating isn’t enough, keeping up with the group is its own exercise. I am huffing and puffing after ten minutes. The sense of urgency comes in because of the route you have to complete in time. For an even more vigorous exercise, listen to faster songs, increase your mile-age, and allot yourself less time.

Start by meeting up with a dance walking crew, throwing on those headphones, beginning your playlist, and boogying on down the street. We covered a mile and a half in 45 minutes, which might not sound like a lot, but if you take one step every few moves, well, you do the math

If the fun part isn’t obvious, you’re having a ball, letting loose, and the people you just met up have shared a whole bunch of new moves with you.

  • Calories Burned: 105-394 per hour depending on how fast your group is going and how fast your music is (to get a more accurate account of measuring calories based on your weight, check CalorieLab).
  • Equipment Needed: Music player and headphones. I’d also recommend bringing an armband for your media device so you don’t have to hold it the whole time.
  • What to Wear: Whatever gives you comfort and confidence. I prefer a flowy tank, running shorts that allow sweat to dry quickly, a headband to keep baby hairs back, and of course my adidas High Tops.
  • Highlights: Bringing joy to other people’s days, improving dance moves, and having an outlet for self-expression (especially more so than, say, a treadmill). It’s just as exhilarating as it is exhausting.
  • Hurdles: The music can carry you away. Keep an eye on cars, street poles, and pedestrians.

Other Exercise Awesomes:




Stay tuned for next week’s post: finding something to hold onto. If you have an Exercise Awesome idea, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to feature it.