Feeling UpBEAT with Cardio Drumming
When you’re a cancer patient or survivor, there’s often a lot weighing on your mind. But for 45 minutes every week in my Cardio Drumming class, I am so focused on where my feet and my drumsticks are going that I can’t think for a minute about my troubles or worries. The fast-paced and fun movements are challenging enough that I have to stay fully engaged, and the music and atmosphere is so upbeat that I always leave in a good mood. And all this fun counts as EXERCISE, so important for those of us who have had a cancer diagnosis.
So now you’re thinking … well that sounds fun … but what in the world is cardio drumming?
Imagine this: A big exercise ball is placed in a plastic bucket. We grab our sets of drumsticks, add some upbeat music, and we get moving … together!
The cardio drumming workout offers so much and is incredibly beneficial and is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. A true cardio workout that combines drumming routines with simple dance steps, cardio drumming is uplifting, distracting and joyful, while still challenging my muscles and coordination. A typical class helps me with mobility, cognitive health and balance while raising my heartbeat and my mood at the same time. On top of all that, when we all drum on the buckets to the same loud beat, a sense of communal unity and personal power takes the experience to a whole new level. Cardio drumming in a group is an inherently social experience, and social connection is so important for individuals with a cancer diagnosis!
I was first introduced to cardio drumming at Life with Cancer, my local cancer support center in Fairfax VA. The class, creatively, energetically and intentionally led by their amazing fitness liaison Susan Gilmore, is a highlight of my week and a wonderful addition to my weekly fitness routine.
Cardio drumming has actually been around for some time but has recently captured the hearts and minds of fitness enthusiasts in a big way. If you have a chance to try it, I highly recommend it … you won’t believe how fast 45 minutes can pass by and that something this fun counts as exercise. If you can’t join a class, you can find cardio drumming videos online and if you don’t have an exercise ball and bucket, you can literally just grab a pair of drumsticks (easily available online for just a few dollars) and beat on the back of a chair!
Find a class and give it a try … you’re sure to feel upBEAT in no time!
Cardio Drumming is now being offered by Fairfax VA’s Life with Cancer via online zoom classes so it is now available to you regardless of where you are located! If you are a cancer patient or survivor, now’s the time to try it out by registering at www.lifewithcancer.org.
Michelle Stravitz is the co-founder of 2Unstoppable, a Sharsheret partner resource and a non-profit organization which helps women with a cancer diagnosis incorporate exercise into their lives. Michelle was diagnosed with stage 2 Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in June 2015 and serves as a Sharsheret peer supporter. For more information about 2Unstoppable, please visit www.2unstoppable.org.