Friday, June 23, 2006

African dancing and Cherry juice

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to get aerobic exercise without the tedium of the treadmill. Thanks to Claire M. of Denver for putting me on to the weekly African dance class Saturday mornings at the 6th Avenue United Church.

The class is one and a half hours of crazy good aerobic exercise done to a chorus of drumbeats from drop-in drummers on the stage of the church gym. Fortunately, I still had a vintage flower print wrap around skirt from my wrap around skirt days--the very outfit over a pair of gym shorts for a fledgling dancer in the know. If it weren't for my inability to do many of the steps, I would've blended right in to this friendly group.

So what's this got to do with cherry juice? Those of you who receive my health newsletter already know that cherry juice is a top-notch source of antioxidants. These phenols are the very thing apparently for over-exercised muscles, significantly decreasing the loss of strength and soreness associated with a vigorous workout. When a group of young fellows downed 24 ounces per day for two weeks, they bested their buddies (on Kool Aid placebos) at bursts of biceps busting weight routines.

24 ounces...that's a boatload of cherry juice. Would the same recipe hold for a fifty-something woman with quivering quadriceps at the end of an African dance class? Would I need proportionately more juice--say 2 and 1/2 times as much as I am 2 and 1/2 times older than the gents juiced in the study?

I'd like to stick with this activity, but what's good for the aging soul is not so compatible with falling arches. Can cherry juice boost the feet as well as the biceps?

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