A new exercise craze is sweeping America by storm. It's not Pilates, it's not aerobics, and it's not tai chi or any number of other workout routines already heard of. This one is based on getting up on your feet, driving the mini-van to the nearest supermarket, and cha-cha-ing your way around the store.
All you need is a shopping cart, a sense of rhythm and a desire to shed pounds in a short period of time. Trish Fandeu actually stumbled upon the exercise quite by accident. "There I was, seriously overweight, standing by the magazine rack reading about the latest gossip and something about some celebrity on DWTS dancing the cha-cha. A half-eaten pack of mini-chocolate glazed donuts sat in the children's seat of my shopping cart next to the biggie-size Coke I just purchased from McDonald's."
"As I walked away from the magazines to do my shopping, my feet started to cha-cha. I slid the right foot out first, then the left foot, and then automatically took three small steps forward, and then again with my left foot sliding, followed by my right, and three small steps. All of a sudden I realized, I was doing a variation of the cha-cha as I pushed my cart around the store and it was a lot of fun. I spent the rest of that shopping trip with 'one-two-cha-cha-cha' repeating over and over in my head. I had my first work out in probably 12 years and I felt really great as I loaded my groceries into the van and headed home."
Over the course of three and a half months, Trish continued to do her almost daily shopping to the cha-cha that sounded in her head and started to see the pounds start to drop off. "Of course," said Trish, "when I saw that I lost 3 pounds that first week, I decided I would eat healthier and promised myself no more donuts and Coke. I switched to water and carrot sticks as I cha-cha'd my way through the market."
At last count, Trish has dropped 42 pounds and is down from a size 18 to a size 10. And word has gotten out. On any given day of the week, you may run into one of the many women who've adopted Trish's shopping cart cha-cha routine. In fact, some stores are now posting signs welcoming "cha-cha-pers into their stores and touting the health benefits of using their carts as exercise props.
Said one happy store owner "we encourage the women to buy lots of items, in bulk, to weigh down the cart and make their workouts even more effective. So far, we've seen a marked increase in our bottom line due to sales of water, carrot sticks, and economy sizes of everything from laundry soap to dill pickles."
Although cha-cha-ing through the store is essentially harmless, Trish does have these words of advice. "Only cha-cha forward, and don't try any other ballroom dances with the cart such as the tango or the foxtrot. The carts simply do not maneuver well for those dances, believe me, I've tried. However, the cha-cha is a perfect match for doing your shopping. Oh, and to avoid catching someone else's germs, always use the handi-wipes at the store entrance to sanitize the cart's handle before beginning your cha-cha-ping."