We all know that exercise is important for many reasons–it reduces weight, improves muscle strength and definition, strengthens joints, lowers blood pressure, and helps with many other physical and health issues. And, everyone should exercise, right? But, does getting on a treadmill or going to a gym fill you with the same dread as getting a root canal? If so, consider dancing! Dancing is one of the best forms of exercise there is.
Dancing is an exercise that engages the entire body as well as the mind. Learning and remembering choreography keeps your brain active while constant movement addresses your heart, circulation, balance, muscles and joints. Dancing kills calories, and it is fun to boot! It’s great exercise for both men and women. So, if you need to add a shot of energy into your workouts, and you’re looking for a fresh, different and fun way to exercise, you need to start dancing!
Benefits of Dancing
Dancing has so many benefits for both your health and mind that it’s difficult to mention them all. We’ve put together some we consider to be at the top of the list for your health and general well-being.
Health Benefits of Dancing
As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of health benefits to dancing for exercise. Here are just a few:
Dancing provides aerobic and anaerobic exercise
As the best form of exercise, dancing gives you both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. With running, you may only target your aerobic. With resistance training, you may only get anaerobic. Both types are very important and our bodies need a combination of the two for maximum health. In dance, you achieve aerobic exercise by moving, jumping, and twirling. The anaerobic type of exercise comes when you hold positions like squatting and balancing. No matter the dance–whether it is tango, rumba, cha-cha, or waltz–you get both aerobic and anaerobic benefits. There are an infinite number of possibilities to getting a complete workout through dance.
Dancing Improves flexibility
Dancing stretches your body in ways that other forms of exercise don’t. Improved flexibility is great for your body’s physical health. It reduces the probability of injury in a fall or sprain and it speeds up the time it takes for your muscles to heal after a workout. Flexibility helps with joint pain and pain from past injuries. Everyone can benefit from becoming more flexible!
Dancing Strengthens Upper and Lower Body
While you may not see the same muscle development with dance as with weight lifting, you still experience total body strengthening with dance. Many dance styles require lifting, leaping, and twirling that require a muscular drive that builds over time. Dances like the paso doble, merengue, cha-cha, and swing are great examples of moving that requires upper and lower body strength.
Dancing Kills Calories
Simply by moving to the music, whether salsa dancing, ballroom dancing, or doing two-step, dance exercise offers an easy and fun way to burn calories. A half hour of dancing can burn between 200 and 400 calories! And it’s so much more enjoyable than the treadmill!
Dancing Builds Stronger Bones
There is no question that dancing for exercise can help protect and improve your bone density. Dancing helps prevent bone problems like osteoporosis by allowing more calcium to be absorbed into the body’s bones.
Dancing Improves Heart, Blood and Circulation
Dancing exercise gives you a strong heart, while it also controls cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood. It’s excellent for reducing stress, which in turn helps lower high blood pressure. Dancing for 20 minutes, just 3 times a week can drastically improve your heart health. When you use dance as exercise regularly, you improve your heart health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
General Well-Being Benefits of Dance
Dancing for exercise doesn’t only positively impact your physical health, it also has benefits that improve your general well-being. Here are just a few:
Dancing Promotes A Healthier Mind
When you dance for exercise on a regular basis, you can reduce mental tension and stress because you stimulate happiness endorphins in the brain that alleviate worries and concerns. Additionally, dance improves your memory because it forces you to recall steps, patterns, and elaborate routines. All of these offer a mental workout for the mind. So, what can be a better benefit than that?!
Music to Inspire
Music is an important part of moving. Almost every person in the gym or outside running and walking is wearing headphones in their ears. The beat of a song can keep you motivated to move your body. Fitness classes always use music to get people to keep moving. So, it’s no surprise that dancing to music does that in aces! Hearing a beat and melody makes you want to get up and move. In a fitness class or when running, the beat stays the same and becomes very boring. However, with dance, music can change from slow to fast to pauses, and change quickly. You have to keep up the pace! You can choose from endless music when looking for something to dance to, so you never get bored.
Dancing is Full of Variety
There are many different kinds of dances, so there is an endless supply of dance moves. This means that (we’ll say it again) it’s difficult to get bored. You can do formal dance moves such as foxtrot, waltz, rumba, merengue, and paso doble or ballet just to name a few. Or, maybe you are more interested in modern-style dances like hip-hop and jazz moves. You have so many options when dancing. Dancing for exercise is never boring!
Dance is Good Form of Socialization
Whether you are a gregarious type or more of an introvert, dance is a great way to improve your social skills. Dancing can make you more self-confident by practicing and getting better at it. And, there are many social opportunities available when you dance such as classes, group activities, and dance clubs. And, it is so much fun! (Did we say that before?)
Dance At Home (or Anywhere)
Dancing for exercise can be done anywhere you have a little space. Actually, you don’t even have to leave your house to engage in dancing exercise. There are many DVDs available as well as online videos that lead you through routines and dances that you can do at home. You don’t need special equipment like weights, benches, or machines to get the exercise done when you dance. And, dancing in the privacy of your own home may provide you with a place to practice without being self-conscious and fearful of making mistakes in front of others.
Go Ahead and Get Started With Dance Classes or Lessons!
Have we convinced you that dancing is the best form of exercise to improve your physical health and general mind-body well-being? Don’t wait to get started! For information on our dance classes, call us today at (919) 872-0111! Dancing exercise can truly change your life!