I’m going to fill you in on a little about me and where my love for sports all started. I was a big tomboy growing up. I never went to dance class or went to the mall – I was happier riding my BMX bike or going to karate 5 days a week. I rode my dirt bike and was big into trucks and cars.
Fast forward to now: I train at the gym or my home gym at least 5 days a week, compete with the WBFF, dance professionally and I still ride motocross, cycle and train for half marathons and cycling races. I like to think of myself as not being someone whom you can label; like ‘a bikini competitor’ or ‘a soccer player’. Do you know what I’m getting at? I’m a lover of all things that make my body move and challenge me.
And the reason is that I love to be active I love to move my body. And with this comes new loves and new muscle gains. Have you even seen a ballet dancer’s legs? Male OR female? How about a pro cyclist? If you have then you know that they’re unreal! Their leg muscles are so lean and strong so defined – it’s a work of art, if you ask me.
How about the stamina of some athletes? If you’re not familiar with motocross, then let me explain. It’s one of the world’s most demanding sports. If you don’t believe me, look it up! Not only are you maneuvering a 200-plus pound machine under you, but you need to be on your ‘A’ game when it comes to being precise about how to perform under pressure quickly, which line to take, and when precisely to take a jump. The cardio and stamina of a pro motocross racer is unbelievable. They not only spend hours on the track but hours at the gym, too.
How about the triathletes? Now I think these people are nuts lol. But honestly, it’s so impressive to swim 4km then hop on a bike for 160km and then run 40km. I raced my first half marathon and gran fondo (long distance road cycling event) last year and when I finished both, I was so damn tired I couldn’t even image doing two more races on top of what I had just accomplished. Multi-level training is where it’s at!
What about yoga?? This has to be one of the most beautiful strength training activities out there. And if you think you can’t build muscle and do yoga concurrently, then you’ll have to talk to my good friend WBBF Pro Michelle MacDonald who not only competes but has also recently started power lifting!
Now I’m not saying you need to buy the most expensive bike and enter a race. Or that you have to hire a world-renowned yogi to show you the ways… I’m just saying that training in different sports - whatever they may be - will only enhance your physical ability and your physique.
One thing that I do really enjoy dancing. I feel like it’s a total outlet for everything that I do. I get my cardio in. I’m usually challenged by some sort of new routine or move that I’m practicing, and it’s great for stage experience. By the end of class, I am always happy. It’s never too late to try something new. I didn’t even START dancing until I was 21. When it comes to activity and movement, there is no age limit.
Just for fun here is a list of sports that burn calories and build muscle and confidence!
Swing – Hurling around your own bodyweight (and possibly your partner’s too) in this moderate to intense cardio workout burns between 300 and 550 cals. Depending on how high impact your style is and how much intensive maneuvering you do of your partner, it could very easily expend even more.
Ballet – We estimate that there are 380 to 450 calories burnt per hour. As an added bonus, this form of dance tends to be associated with great posture, a strong core, increased flexibility and very strong legs. It is known for building that long and lean look that women so often strive for, but make no mistake; ballet requires a great deal of strength. For example, pro football players have been known to use ballet training to improve their performance.
Cycling- An 8-mile-per-hour pace on a road bike over relatively flat ground is a leisurely pace. At this rate, you'll burn 236 to 372 calories per hour, depending on your size. If you covered eight miles of mountainous terrain on a mountain bike, you'll burn more like 502 to 791 calories in the hour.
Tae kwon do -A person who weighs 160 pounds burns roughly 730 calories per hour doing tae kwon do. A person who weighs 200 pounds burns 910 calories, while an individual who weighs 240 pounds burns 1,090 calories an hour doing tae kwon do, according to one study done by the Mayo Clinic.
So my question to you is: what do you have to lose? You’ll not only improve in various physical parameters, but you may even discover your new passion!! Live it up butter cup!
Heidi Cannon Boom Boom
Photography: David Laus