It's Saturday and another night out with your friends.
It's fun, sure, but are you really making the most of it? Are you just going through the motions -- drinking, dancing, heading home -- without raising your heart rate and toning those key muscle zones?
Millions of Americans out at clubs and bars each weekend are missing a major opportunity for a solid cardio workout. These minor adjustments can help turn your ordinary night out into full-out cardio:
STRETCHING: Getting Into Your Goal-Weight Pants
Preparation with stretching is key for both your workout and your night out. You'll want to look hot, but also be ready to physically exert yourself.
Find some pants you really want to fit you, but clearly do not. Squeezing into these pants is a great stretch for your leg muscles. As you contort your body to fit into them, make sure you're not ignoring your arms.
Lift them over your head in a long stretch as you suck in places you didn't think you could suck in. The discomfort these pants will provide you all night will motivate you to work harder and burn more.
TIP: Choose a shoe that shows you came for Julie's birthday but stayed to work on your muscle tone. An impractical heel is the perfect choice – you'll look hot and work those calf muscles more than you want to.
WARM UP: Finding Your Ride
The night is young and just beginning!
You're dressed and ready to get that heart rate up. Jog to each black Toyota Camry on your street until you find which Uber is yours. This can take anywhere from four to 40 minutes. Make sure to keep your joints loose and stay at a slow speed. Remember, we're just starting and you want to pace yourself.
TIP: If you find your Uber before you're fully warmed up, tell your driver you forgot your wallet and continue your jog. Once he sees your dedication, he'll understand.
JUMP SQUATS: Getting a Drink
The bar is crowded. How many calories are you burning standing still and waiting for the bartender? ZERO. This is the perfect time for a strength-building exercise.
With your legs shoulder-width apart, squat down and then launch yourself into the air. Land with your knees bent and not on anyone else's feet. Repeat this in sets of 10 until your drink is ordered and delivered.
TIP: Listen to your body when choosing a beverage. Do you need a vodka water to stay hydrated? A beer for carbohydrate-fueled energy? Let your liver speak to you.
ENDURANCE TRAINING: Dance Like No One's Watching
It's all led up to this. Approach the floor and don't rely on your traditional dance moves.
This isn't about attracting a potential mate, it's about BURNING FAT, BABY. Try some Latin dance footwork for agility. Maybe something bouncy, like a Polka. Did you learn anything in those kickboxing classes? Use it!
If any suitors come your way, make sure they know they are there for spotting purposes only.
TIP: Add extra weight by offering to hold everyone's belongings. Friends, strangers, pile it on. The coats and bags draped around your neck and arms add resistance and intensify your workout.
COOL DOWN: Finding Your Friends
Wow, time has really gotten away from you. The bar is closing and you lost your friends on your third lap grapevining the perimeter of the dance floor.
Wandering aimlessly is perfect for cooling down your muscles, letting your heart rate return to normal and running into some of them by chance. You probably have most of their phones in the bags you're holding for them so it's really your only option anyway.
If you don't find them, you don't need them. You are a warrior. Raise your arms in victory and shout your favorite inspirational movie lines until a cab agrees to drive you home. You deserve it.
TIP: Call Julie tomorrow and apologize for your behavior.