I occasionally hit a hip hop fitness class, and I absolutely love it. In fact, I love it so much that I’m constantly attempting to recruit more of my friends to join me, because dancing with one friend (hey, Danielle) in a class is fun, but dancing with a whole group of my pals would be even better.
Every time I’ve invited someone, I’ve gotten the same question: “Is it a workout?”
It’s not exactly a yes or no answer. I mean, yes, I do — during the 50-minute class, I sweat through everything I’m wearing and get out of breath. Of course, this happens because I go all out pretty much the whole time, jumping and throwing myself around as much as I can — I’m sure it would be less of a workout if I curbed my enthusiasm. But that’s really never gonna happen when there’s a beat being dropped, so, yes, it’s a workout!
But it’s not so taxing that I can’t go from that to something else.
However, if that’s my definition for a workout, what would I consider a workout? I mean, I don’t think there’s anyone on earth who would not consider a 50+ mile bike ride a proper workout … but that doesn’t mean one can’t run a half marathon on top of it. An hour-long strength training class at the gym might kick my butt, but if I can wrap it up before meeting my friends to run, I’ll meet them at the starting line.
So, I guess the question is more what I would not consider a workout, and to me, it comes partly down to intention. A brisk walk isn’t going to leave me spent, but it might be my active recovery exercise for the day. I would not consider the three-mile beach cruiser ride to the beach hard work (unless I push the pace and intend for it to be my exercise for the day), and I wouldn’t normally call wandering through the Atlanta airport a workout (although, hey, when you make it from your gate in Concourse A to D in under seven minutes, I think you get to count it and ASK ME HOW I KNOW).
Maybe what it really comes down to is this: Does it really matter what it’s called as long as you’re being active?
No, really, I’m asking you — does it matter to you whether an activity is called a workout or not? If so, why, and how do you make that distinction? —Kristen