If you're like me, it is not always that easy to motivate yourself to go exercise. Some say it's a question of mind over matter, but recently I had the opportunity to interview Darryl Edwards, author of the book Paleo Fitness, who gave a different verdict. "Going to the gym or CrossFit only works for a certain personality types. Everyone else needs to find way to make exercise fun, so they actually want to do it," he said.
This viewpoint fits me perfectly, as I could play tennis, soccer or Frisbee for hours, but I get bored after about 10 minutes on the treadmill. Part of it is that I find those sports fun, and part of it is enjoying the camaraderie of playing with others. Now, given that the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning, what is someone like me to do?
Enter Morning Gloryville. First started in London, it is essentially an early morning sober rave. In their own words, "This is conscious clubbing at it’s very best!"
Morning Gloryville's tactic is to reengage people with a form of exercise that their ancestors have been doing for millennia: dance. According to their site, "dancing is the ultimate exercise … free improvised dancing in space uniquely wakes up the body, mind and creativity, and will leave you feeling more energized and alive than you could ever imagine."
These were bold words, so I had to check it out myself. I arrived at 6:30am on a gorgeous sunny morning on the Brooklyn banks of the East River in NYC. The organizers were big on hugs, and I received at least three before even getting upstairs. There were smoothie and coffee stations, as well as yoga and massage outside and the music was playing softly, which was actually nice that early.Very quickly the room filled and the music got louder and by 7am, the rave was on.
I’ve always enjoyed dancing, but, looking back, I was surprised at how little dancing I'd ever done while completely sober. It's very different dancing with sober people. No drama, no lechery and a lot more fun. There was plenty of sweat and calories burned. Mentally, compared to going to the gym or even for a run, I did feel different that day.
And it isn’t just raving that's catching the attention of alternative exercise and health seekers. In 2003, the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that "frequent dancing that challenges the mind can ward off dementia." And, in Los Angeles, an entirely different demographic is reaping the benefits of a new swing dancing phenomenon with people like Bill Nye The Science Guy reportedly attending weekly classes.
So, does it sound like fun? Organize your own sober rave and get all the benefits of dancing with these simple steps.
1. Find a venue.
The venue should be somewhere you can play loud music in the morning.
2. Invite your friends.
Use social media to spread the word!
3. Get some music.
Put together a great playlist or find one that you like. (Here are a few from the DJ who played at Morning Gloryville.)
4. Dance your heart out!
It’s even more fun in a group, and dancing is a great form of exercise that can be done almost anywhere.