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Category Archives: Health

What’s Holding You Back from Living Your Best and Healthiest Life?

Stacey Beaman finds her best life teaching PlyoJam dance fitness.

When I first started my journey taking dance fitness classes, I was about to turn 36.  I was overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. Having recently gone through a few bad breakups, stuck in a career I didn’t love and miles away from any kind of fitness regimen, I was just kind of lost.  

THE FIRST STEPS

I remember attending my very first PlyoJam class in the summer of 2014. You know what the biggest struggle was?  Figuring out what the hell to wear! I hadn’t worked out in ages, I was adamantly against showing my arms, nothing felt good, the struggle was so real! I would look in my closet and try convince myself not to go to class because I had nothing that fit right. I had done this countless times in the past, so the internal conversation of “I should just skip it” was alarmingly familiar. After trying on countless baggy t-shirts and leggings, I finally settled on something and headed out the door.

WALKING INTO THE STUDIO

Next hurdle…getting out of the car and walking into the dance fitness class.  I remember driving to the class, blasting Eminem, trying to pump up my confidence and quiet my fear. “You’re a great dancer,” I told myself.  “You will just stand in the back and do what you can!” So I got my butt out of the car. My memory is as clear as day of walking into the studio. Everyone seemed to know each other.  Everyone looked adorable in their tanks and Lulu leggings. It was intimidating AF!

GETTING LOST IN THE MUSIC

I stood in the back, eyes flitting around the studio, waiting to get started. I was so anxious, but once the music began, I felt a little more at ease. The music filled the room and I felt like I could almost hide in the folds of its rhythm and tempo.  As Jason began to teach, the moves felt super fast and hard to follow (funny to me now!) but OH MY GOSH it felt so good to move my body, to feel the sweat running down my temple! Four songs in I was addicted and I had this burning excitement in my tummy because I sensed something big could and would come from this class I had found!

FINDING THE COURAGE

I’ll never really know where I found the gumption to try that very first dance fitness class.  I’m not sure what finally quieted the internal “what’s the point, I’m not going” dialogue. I think it may have been the little voice in the back of my head that kept saying, “something has to change.”

Maybe I was tired of my own excuses.  

Maybe I was tired of feeling down.

Maybe it was some kind of muscle memory from years past when I used to be an athlete and I knew how good endorphins made me feel.  

Maybe my poor little soul was tired of my brain being so mean to me.

Whatever it was, I’m so thankful for that initial spark. 

But maybe I need to give myself more credit.  Yes I was fearful and unsure and embarrassed. But I have also had a really deep internal strength.  I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve overcome a lot, so would I really let the fear of a dance fitness class get me?  Hell no!

WINDS OF CHANGE

And thank God I didn’t. I walked into that class and it changed my life forever. That day was the beginning of an 8 week mission.  It was summer break and at the time I was a teacher off for the summer. I ended up taking forty PlyoJam classes in eight weeks. I lost 26 pounds.  What I lost in pounds, I gained ten times over in confidence, health, inspiration, happiness and a newly found zest for life!

I’ll save the rest of my story (how I went on to become the co-founder of PlyoJam, teach privates to James Corden and Adelle, be featured on the news, and teach PlyoJam to hundreds of my own students) for another blog.

But for today I want you to think about what’s stopping you.  What roadblocks and hurdles are in your way. How can I help you find that SPARK to shove those roadblocks aside and take a chance on something scary and new?  Because trust me, it could change your life.

Up Close and Personal with PlyoJam COO Stacey Beaman

PlyoJam Co-Founder and COO Stacey Beaman gets real about taking risks, getting over fear and self doubt, and getting out there and doing things that might feel scary.  In this interview she talks about her own struggle to find a form of fitness that worked for her and how she was afraid to get out on the dance floor for fear of not looking a certain way.  Stacey is a huge advocate of body positivity and self love and wants every woman and man to toss their fears and insecurities away and do what makes them happy.  Stacey feels that far too many people let life pass them by without doing the things they want to do because they are too afraid, or they don’t feel like they meet the “criteria.”  When Stacey first stepped onto the dance floor she was extremely overweight and out of shape.  She had body image issues and felt terrible about herself.  In fact, it took her months to work up the courage to finally step on the dance floor.  However, she fought through those fears and realized it wasn’t worth it to continue punishing herself.  She decided to rise up against her insecurities and fears and her journey has been one of strength, growth and empowerment.  Stacey’s goal is to pass that strength on to others who have been holding themselves back.  No one should feel they don’t deserve happiness.  No one should miss out on the things they want to do because they don’t look a certain way.  No more waiting. The time is NOW. Love your body, be healthy, be strong, be brave.

Watch Stacey talk about her journey HERE!  Watch Stacey teach a meaningful PlyoJam routine HERE!

Dance Fitness …. Cardio Made Fun!

A note from PlyoJam co-founder Stacey Beaman. I want to take a minute and share my story of how dance fitness, and PlyoJam in particular, revived my level of fitness and helped me stick to a cardio workout that I actually enjoy. But first, let’s go back to a younger Stacey. In my teenage years I was highly involved in sports and never had to think about how I would fit in my exercise. Drills, running and swimming, were just naturally built into my rigorous practice and game schedule and I was fit as a fiddle. I never even thought about “working out.”

In my twenties I became a bit more aware of weight gain and the need to exercise to stay in shape. However, it was pretty easy for me to maintain my fitness level by playing recreational volleyball, and on off days going to the gym and spending hours on elliptical machines and treadmills. At that time I knew nothing about dance fitness. The volleyball was fun, but those cardio machines were a major snooze fest! It was so boring, which of course lead to the frequency of my trips to the gym becoming less and less.

As I made my way into my thirties, I had given up rec volleyball and I could not stomach the thought of going to the gym. It was at that time I took my first cardio dance fitness class and realized that dance fitness might just be the thing that could help me attain a desired level of fitness once again. I needed to get back into shape! But as it does for so many people, life got in the way. Several challenging life events led to forty pounds gained, dance fitness was forgotten, and I was left out of shape and miserable.

Little did I know what was right around the corner. Jason Layden, creator of the PlyoJam format, was a friendly acquaintance of mine. When I attended his birthday party in June 2014 he asked me what I was doing for the summer. I was a school teacher at the time, and I had just been released for summer break. Even more exciting was the fact that I had a sabbatical planned and in the Fall I was going to Europe for five months. I had the whole summer to plan for my trip and work on my fitness. Jason invited me to his dance fitness class and it sparked my memory of the one dance fitness class I had taken years earlier and how much I loved the idea of dancing to stay in shape.

I decided to attend Jason’s dance fitness class, something called PlyoJam, and even though I was terribly out of shape and feeling a bit chagrined over my poor condition, I was hooked! I had no idea how fun a dance fitness class like PlyoJam could be. And PlyoJam was so much more special and amazing than that other dance fitness class I had taken years earlier. I felt like a kid in a candy store and was soon obsessed. I quickly saw that dance fitness could truly be the answer to my cardio needs and weight loss prayers!

I adopted the PlyoJam lifestyle and have never, ever looked back. I knocked off fifty pounds, became highly involved with the brand and the format, and am now COO and co-founder of this dance fitness brand that I adore so much. And I can say from personal experience that dance fitness is truly a way to get in fantastic shape while actually having fun! I have lived and breathed it, and I am thrilled to see dance fitness, and PlyoJam, changing lives as it has changed mine.

 

 

 

7 Reasons Dance Fitness is the BEST Way to Get Summer Ready

People are constantly talking about the almighty “summer body.” But EW, who wants to spend hours on a treadmill to attain that bod? Not us! Dance fitness, on the other hand, comes with some pretty sweet perks. Perks…plus a perky booty. What’s not to love?

Here are 7 reasons dance fitness is the BEST way to get summer ready!

1. A compliment from your dance instructor will make your whole day…nay, your entire WEEK!2. Those hip swivels are going to give you abs like a boss…making you bikini ready AND a strong candidate for Hula Hoop Champ 2016.

3. Your Dance Buds Will Become Your BFF’s…because frankly, no one else truly understands the joy of scoring the front row in class.

4.   The utter satisfaction of nailing that combo in the new routine leaves you feeling like a true rockstar…and Linda goes home feeling like JLo.

5.  Body rolls…’nuff said. 

6.  Cuz when there are guys in class, they are REALLLLLLY fun to watch.

7.  Not only will you be ready for da club with all that twerking, but you no longer have to squeeze into those horrific Spanx! Score!

 

Find Out How Dancing Makes Your Bones Happy!

I think we can all agree that dancing is a true source of joy. It is a stress reliever, a soul lifter, a time to let go and lose yourself in rhythm and tempo. Attending a PlyoJam class can almost be a spiritual experience, where we can work out our bodies and minds and be ready to face a new day. Dancing does so many wonderful things for the mind and the spirit, which we could talk about forever! But, today we want to focus on one of the significant physical health benefits that dancing lends our bodies. That benefit is the increase in bone mass, and the prevention and reduction of bone loss.

Did you know that peak bone mass, when bones reach their maximum strength and density, occurs by about age thirty in women? Thirty seems young! We were shocked, too! What this means is prior to age thirty, women should be doing everything possible to achieve a higher peak bone density. After age thirty, women don’t usually see a significant change in their bone density for a while, but it’s extremely important to maintain their peak bone density. And of course, as women reach their fifties, it’s crucial to reduce the chance of bone loss. According to Dorothy Klock, MD, Board Certified Family Physician AND one of our very own PlyoJam students, “After menopause, women begin to experience bone loss, which continues throughout the postmenopausal years and can lead to osteoporosis.” Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle, often leading to fractures and breaks. And, since we love our PlyoJammers and don’t want to see any broken hips or fractured ankles on the dance floor, we are here to stress the importance of keeping your bones healthy and strong. While there are numerous factors that affect peak bone mass including gender, race, hormonal factors, and nutrition, experts agree that exercising is crucial to bone health. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger.

Specifically, weight-bearing exercises will help to maintain bone strength and prevent loss. What is a weight-bearing exercise? According to Dr. Klock, “A weight-bearing exercise is one in which you must exercise against gravity, such as walking, hiking, tennis, jogging, and DANCING!” An example of a non weight-bearing exercise would be swimming. While swimming is still an excellent form of cardio exercise, it does not include the weight-bearing benefits that other exercises provide. Along with a nutrient rich diet, particularly rich in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, we want you to keep those dancing shoes polished and continue to dance, dance, dance! We want our PlyoJam family to be of healthy mind, heart and body, which most definitely includes healthy, strong bones!  Whether you are working to achieve a higher bone mass, maintain that mass, or working to prevent the loss of bone mass in your postmenopausal years, dancing benefits women of all ages. Just another bonus in the wonderful world of dance! See you on the dance floor!

 
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