Today’s guest is an interactive health/medical copywriter, news reporter and blogger. She is devoted to advocating for women and promoting the benefits of integrative and complementary medicine.  Please welcome a woman on a fantastic journey,  Liz Scherer!

In a rut lately with your workout? Feeling a bit blue for no good reason other than the weather is changing? Has the Dow got you down? Wondering how to fill that time you’ve been spending outdoors with a great indoor routine? I certainly have been. And I think that I found the answer! It’s called Nia (“nee-uh,” neuromuscular integrative action).

Nia is described as “movement medicine for the body and soul.” Based on nine movement forms culled from martial, dance and healing arts, NIA simultaneously addresses the body, mind and spirit and puts them on an equal playing field through music, movement and self- expression.

Let me tell you: the Nia class I took kicked my ass! I sweated like I used to sweat when I ran five miles a day. My heart rate was raised and remained so throughout the 45 minutes of the active movement portion (note that Nia also incorporates about 10 to 15 minutes of floor work to slow the heart and cool down). I felt invigorated and happy! In a nutshell, Nia helped me find joy again in my workout, in my day and in many respects, in my body.

Health experts have long maintained that large positive behavior changes in diet or levels of physical activity can improve mental health.  In fact, in a study published last year in the Journal of Public Health, increasing physical activity levels by as much as 20 minutes a day and eating at least five portions of fruit or vegetables daily were shown to produce significantly increased feelings of peacefulness and happiness in the 10,419 participants studied.

One thing that I like best about Nia is that for a person like me, who, despite an incredibly active lifestyle, has battled back woes her entire life, movements are personal and individualized. In other words, NIA is based on a core set of movements that can and should be altered based on your own desires and physical limitations. Not surprisingly, the key to Nia is finding and creating a loving relationship with the body, so that the body guides your movement, rather than the other way around.

Mark Twain once wrote: “On with the dance, let joy be unconfined.” Nia is a wonderful way to release your inner joy through fluid, self-expressed dance, movement, and meditation. I’m sure that there are others as well. How do you find joy?

Liz Scherer reinvented herself in the past couple of years to focus mainly on interactive writing. Visit Liz at and – Top 100 Women’s Health Blogs!