Do you all remember Tae Bo? Well, I am here to say I have RENEWED my love of Tae Bo!
Many of us have relegated ourselves to corners of basements, small sections of the living room, or even our bedroom so that we could put in a DVD, turn on YouTube or log into Beachbody to get in a good sweat session. We all know the amazing advantages of working out at HOME when you must care for tiny humans. I had the amazing opportunity to meet, interview, and take a class with a fitness legend that was on the leading edge of at home workouts…Billy Blanks.
Billy Blanks is an American fitness guru, martial artist, actor, and the creator of the Tae Bo exercise program. Tae Bo is a total body fitness system that incorporates martial arts techniques such as kicks and punches, which became quite popular in the 1990s and remains one of highest grossing fitness programs to date. According to the Health Research Funding organization, doing Tae Bo for 60 minutes at 150 pounds, you can burn 687 calories per hour. Tae Bo helps to increase strength, muscle mass, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Today, Tae Bo is taught in 103 countries worldwide.
Last month, I traveled to the newly re-opened Wall Street Theater in Norwalk to chat with Billy about the fitness empire he created nearly 30 years ago. I wanted to talk to Billy about how to incorporate fitness as a busy parent. His advise was, “Be mindful, stay active and take of your body.”
For him, Tae Bo is all about honoring the body as well as the mind and spirit. He is extremely cognizant of being mindful and how one must be fully present to reap the most benefits from their workouts. It is his belief that fitness and health are not something we just do, but something that should become our lifestyle.
After I talked with Billy, we were all treated to a heart-pounding, sweat producing 60-minute workout. The workout was an absolute blast and I found his instructions and demonstrations so precise and clear that I could easily follow along even though I have not done a Tae Bo video since college. I have some vivid memories of doing some fantastic Tae Bo kicks and punches in my college dorm with my roommates. What I enjoyed the most about his workout style was his positive energy and charisma, that made you want to try your absolute hardest even when you thought you were at your limit. Billy is a talented dancer as well and towards the end of the workout, he had us shaking our hips and cracking up. I have to say I probably smiled the entire time I was working out, which is definitely a good sign in my opinion.
Once we were all sweaty and sufficiently sore, he ended the presentation with a Q&A for everyone. His overall message was that you have to work your “mind and will” to see any results. He also stressed the importance of staying in the moment and not letting stress take your joy away. I found all his advise extremely profound and very relevant.
I left the Wall Street Theater with a new appreciation for Tae Bo and all it has to offer. It kind of makes me wish I still had my college roommate’s VHS tapes. Thank goodness you can still find some awesome Tae Bo workouts on YouTube and Billy promises that he is coming out with a new set of “videos” soon.