How important is exercise in a weight loss program? I know for me, food has always been the most important piece of the puzzle but of course, exercise helps. From June 2011 to February 2015, I was teaching at least two Zumba classes a week, often more. For the majority of the four years, I taught 3 or 4 Zumba classes, 2 Aqua Zumba classes, and did a beachbody program at home. Other than ChaLEAN Extreme, they were all cardio-based, Insanity, Les Mills PUMP (kind of both strength & cardio), T25, Insanity Max 30, Turbo Fire HIIT workouts. Since, I don’t teach anymore, my cardio has slacked. I have focused more on weights and while I get to the gym sometimes and get on the elliptical or stairmaster, I definitely do not get in three or four sessions a week. A couple of weeks ago I spent an hour on the stairmaster and some ski machine in the cardio cinema and I only burned 640 calories. I could have gone to Zumba class earlier that evening and probably burned the same amount and had a lot more fun (I use to burn between 500-600 calories a class). So that got me thinking. maybe it’s time to go back to Zumba. I was certainly slimmer and Zumba was great cardio because that’s all I did before starting Insanity and I was in was good shape. I got so burned out from Zumba and I felt like my body was used to it (which it probably was) so I haven’t even done Zumba at home. And I kind of figured I was too “advanced” for Zumba. But seriously, I’ve had a hard time finding cardio activities where I burn more than I did in Zumba. I hate the Stairmaster, and the elliptical, and the stationary bicycle. After six months of taking kettlebell classes two times a week, I am no longer doing that anymore either. I couldn’t justify the expense ($135/month) once I got married. I thought I would get up and go to Body Pump and Les Mills Grit classes instead. Negative. I went to one Body Pump class and one Grit class. So for August, I am focusing on cardio. We are doing a 30 day plank challenge at my hot yoga studio, working up to a four minute plank! I decided to also incorporate a pushup challenge. Starting at 40 pushups a day and working up to 100 by August 31. And I’m doing a yoga challenge, yoga everyday. That WILL be a challenge, but I am coming up on two years since my yoga teacher training and it is absurd that I do not have a home practice. So how am I going to get cardio in, too? Well, I have about 30 ZIN (Zumba Instructor) DVDs that have not even opened. So there is no time like NOW. I might be able to get to a class on Sunday afternoons or Thursday evenings, depends on hubby’s sleep schedule, but three or four cardio sessions a week is the goal. Here is to a very active August.