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It Starts with Bed-Dancing

This “Bed-Dancing” concept often gets a few chuckles… but I want you to stay with me on this one as I explain exactly what it is (and isn’t) and how you can incorporate this in your exercise routine today. I’ll begin by expressing how essential Bed-Dancing was in my life right after I had the RNY gastric bypass bariatric weight-loss surgery: VERY ESSENTIAL. That’s shooting straight from the hip! Definition of Bed-Dancing: “the exercise activity that incorporates established exercise movements while positioned on your back in the bed to minimize the stress and strains on joints and muscles when a person is morbidly obese.” This is the best brief definition I could come up with since I am nowhere near a Webster genius. Right after my surgery, I knew that it was important to MOVE MY BODY and begin to exercise. The biggest benefit I saw at the time was that it increased my blood circulation that was necessary to help my surgical wounds to heal.

This was my main motivation. And when I weighed 317 pounds, there was no way I was “eager” to incorporate an exercise routine because my body was so large, and my arthritis so painful, I just could not bear putting such stress on my joints and muscles at that heavy weight. I had a master plan to put on my favorite “high-spirited” CD (Latin music makes me feel like dancing), put on my sweats, and I went into my bedroom as I announced to the household, “Don’t bother me for one hour….no matter what,” then shut the door. As I began to “dance” to the tunes, OH MY GOLLY… I couldn’t last more than five minutes! My incision hurt, my joints hurt, and I collapsed on my bed, falling deeper in disappointment that I could not see myself achieving an exercise routine.

But soon, as the Latin CD kept spinning, I found myself “moving” to the music while I was in bed… WOW… I then thought, “Hey, I can DANCE on my BACK!” So with legs and arms in the air flailing like a floppy fish… I discovered how someone who weighed 317 pounds COULD exercise… but not the traditional way… but by Bed-Dancing! Thus, the birth of my newly-found method launched me into a very SUCCESSFUL exercise routine that I could do often without putting stress on my joints! But be cautious when you talk about Bed-Dancing to others… they automatically begin to chuckle at what you call the standard “bed activity” now. (blushing yet?) What you need for Bed-Dancing: • A bedroom with a bed and a bedroom door that you can shut so you can bed-dance in private. Be sure to announce to the household that this is YOUR TIME and they are capable of getting along without you for at least the length of a CD. If not, they are far too dependant on you! • A CD that excites you into “dancing”. A CD is better over a cassette tape or radio because you can “program” your music selection to skip, repeat, or play at random your tunes according to what you want to dance to. • An exercise outfit such as sweats, t-shirt and shorts, or even your slip. Since you’ll be behind closed doors, you can wear whatever you want. However, when you actually have an “outfit” set aside for exercise, the mind gets in gear and stays more focused on what you are telling it to do… and that’s EXERCISE. • An attitude to do Bed-Dancing. This is vital too.

Keep you movements simple but aggressive, meaning that you aren’t making complicated moves with your arms and legs, but rather you are making the simple moves in a forceful and deliberate way much as a tap dancer or ballet dancer uses simple moves but with controlled and deliberate body disciplines. So as you can see, the equipment you need for Bed-Dancing is minimal and low cost since you already have most of what you need as these things are probably already around the house. If you lack in a dancing CD, go get one… most cities have “used” CD shops. And as for your exercise outfit, you can find sweats at your local thrift store. And if you like Bed-Dancing in your “unmentionables”, that’s okay too…. Whatever works for you! Bed-Dancing helped me begin my “serious” exercise routine which eventually morphed into exercising on my feet and even to full-fledged real dancing again as the pounds fell off! I still Bed-Dance occasionally to get me “started”, then I’m up on my feet and going to town!.


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