Casanova Frankenstein & Aerobics Revisited

For those who have watched the hilarious movie, Mystery Men, you would know who Casanova Frankenstein was.


Anyway, in a Salsa Class (and dancing in general), the essentials imparted are — the women must follow men’s leads. And as so stated, men become better dancers and eventually lead better in the dance floor if women cooperate and let them lead. And this includes suggestions from the instructor to never correct the man even if he twists himself out silly. As long as he does not maim you, the woman should just sway to the man’s beat. I did not play dumb but I gladly cooperated. I think this soft rule goes the other way too. Sounds fair and interestingly fun. However, in a dance class, everybody dances with everybody. And so from time to time, my husband and I would compare notes. He had at some point danced with someone who kept correcting him. I never had that initially so I really did not know how annoying that felt until I danced with the Casanova Frankenstein there. For some reason I associated him with that name the instant I became annoyed. It was terribly unpleasant dancing with him. As he kept up more with his corrections than with our practice (I don’t think we danced at all!) and he was not really very nice about it — hands not too tight, too loose, steps too wide, etc…I wished the teacher had called out “switch!” at that instant. There are still a few classes left for us. I’m now devising a plan on how to avoid my turn with him. Luckily, he was not in class recently. Probably in Champion City with the Disco Boys.

Whatever, I just want my particular aerobic exercise time in peace and freedom.

It is easy to give an exercise routine advice. It is not that easy to live by it. It is a fact that we slump, get tired, get lazy on some days and we just might as well skip it eventually. But I remind myself coming from a family with various heredofamilial diseases in the shelf, exercise, like life, should be lived. But how? Good question. And sustaining it to achieve its good effects is tricky. So I guess it depends on what interests us — enough to sustain it. It’s very important.

And salsa, to my surprise, takes care of that! It is fun, interesting, and it goes with a funky music! With or without Casanova Frankenstein.

The benefits of physical exercise:

Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and can contribute positively to maintaining a healthy weight; building and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint mobility; promoting physiological well-being; reducing surgical risks; and strengthening the immune system.

Frequent and regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help prevent or treat serious and life-threatening chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, insomnia, and depression. Strength training appears to have continuous energy-burning effects that persist for about 24 hours after the training, though they do not offer the same cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercises. Exercise can also increase energy and raise one’s threshold for pain.

Aerobic Exercise in particular:


Aerobic exercise refers to exercise that is of moderate intensity, undertaken for a long duration. Aerobic means “with oxygen“, and refers to the use of oxygen in a muscle‘s energy-generating process. Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time.

An effective aerobic exercise should involve 5-10 minutes of warming up at an intensity of 50-60% of maximum heart rate, followed by at least 20 minutes of exercise at an intensity of 70-80% of maximum heart rate, ending with 5-10 minutes of cooling down at an intensity of 50-60% of maximum heart rate.

Is Salsa aerobic? As an opinion sans literature evidence for now, yes. The class itself runs for 2 hours minus some breaks. The oft rushy steps, twists and twirls will definitely increase one’s heart rate to a good maximum. Maybe next time I should try wearing a heart rate monitor for a more accurate account. In fact, inspired by its movement benefits, some groups recreated salsa as an exercise.

More on the benefits: 1) “Increased energy, improved stamina, disease prevention” — the Mayo Clinic

Regular aerobic exercise can:Reduce health risks. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Help you manage chronic conditions. Aerobic exercise helps lower high blood pressure, control blood sugar and relieve chronic muscle pain. If you’ve had a heart attack, aerobic exercise can help prevent subsequent attacks.

Keep excess pounds at bay. Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise can help you lose weight — and keep it off.

Ward off viral illnesses. Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.

Keep your arteries clear. Aerobic exercise increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol and decreases the concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol in your blood. The potential result? Less buildup of plaques in your arteries.

Strengthen your heart. A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.

Boost your mood. Aerobic exercise can ease the gloominess of depression and reduce the tension associated with anxiety, as well as promote relaxation.

Increase your stamina. Aerobic exercise may make you tired in the short term. But over the long term, you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.

Stay active and independent as you get older. Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. Researchers say that at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week can reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

2) “Reduction of adipocyte size” — International Journal of Obesity

Addition of exercise training to dietary weight loss preferentially reduces subcutaneous abdominal adipocyte size in obese women. This may be of importance for the treatment of health complications associated with subcutaneous abdominal adiposity. 

3) “Improves cognitive functioning of older men and women” — Science Daily

“The implications are that exercise might be able to offset some of the mental declines that we often associate with the aging process,” Blumenthal said. “Further studies are warranted not only to clarify specific mental processes that are improved by exercise, but to better understand the underlying mechanisms of these improvements.” 

Physical activity should not be confined to a classic grind nor does it have to be a boot camp ceremony. The bottom line should be the health improvement or maintenance that one gets without the association with meaningless toil and undeserved punishment. There are lots of fun exercise activities out there that can take care of this beneficial necessity — the Wii, lawn tennis, walking, walking the dog, biking, running, jogging…just get off the couch and go! Just 20 to 30 minutes a day!


~ by Karina Descartin on 24 August 2007.

14 Responses to “Casanova Frankenstein & Aerobics Revisited”

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  3. […] Clark Casanova Frankenstein In Salsa & Aerobics Revisited » This Summary is from an article posted at the story of healing on Friday, August 24, 2007 […]

  4. Reading your blog lead me to consider you as an ideal dance partner.

  5. Nice description of learning to follow. There is nothing worse than a partner (leader or follower) that corrects you on the dance floor!!

  6. I can understand the feeling. If you have one as a partner, he’d ruin the day. No need for you to wear a heart monitor to prove it is aerobic. That would be hard-dancing with it. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the kind words J, M, and I. Stay healthy!

  8. Is salsa aerobic? I would guess so. Just walking gets my heart rate up, I can’t imagine what keeping up with the music for a couple of hours must do for you.

    Does it feel like a workout? Or is it more like you’ve just had a good time?

  9. Hi C: More like the latter. You’re just enjoying and you’re rewarded with a bonus. After a couple of hours, you realize that you’ve actually moved all of you here and there–plus the evidence of sweat and sometimes sore muscles, feels wonderful for the work out part. And the dancing is just, as you probably know, great! Thanks for dropping by.

  10. You will find that there are many benefits of aerobic exercise which you will want to explore as much as possible. Those who are looking to get in shape will need to consider doing certain aerobic exercises which can help with losing weight and slimming down. The great thing about this type of exercise is that there are so many different ways you can do it, so you can change it up every once in a while. If you are determined to shed some of those extra pounds, you will definitely want to take the time to see what your options are when it comes to aerobic exercise…

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