Take a break from the gym and have a dance party instead! Not just a calorie burning cardio workout and fun time, dancing boasts bountiful physical and mental health benefits. Get healthy and happy dancing, whether it’s in a dance class, out social dancing (like salsa or bachata) or even having your own dance party at a venue or at home.
Ease anxiety and rid yourself of stress as you get in the dance zone and dance those cares away! Boost your heart and lung health, improve posture and agility, and strengthen your bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Other benefits? It doesn’t always cost you to dance, you don’t always need equipment to dance and you can be solo or with friends. And, there are endless options for music, not just upbeat club mixes to dance to.
DIVERSITY OF DANCE
Just as with music genres, you won’t grow bored with so many styles of dance. You can always go to a club or have a dance party and freestyle it, but you can also take lessons and head to events with other forms of dance. Get training or learn online with ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap, liturgical, belly dance, pole dancing, flamenco and folk dancing. Find groups and events that include social dancing, ballroom dancing, salsa, bachata, tango, line dancing, shag and swing. And, dance has made its way around the world representing a cornucopia of different cultures from all around the globe, including African, Asian, Latin and European. You don’t have to worry about having two left feet or even just one; you can move and groove with whatever you’ve got to benefit your health, express yourself and simply have fun!
Boost memory and cognition. Dancing can decrease your risk for developing dementia. Scientific studies conclude that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus where memories are stored. In addition to exercising your body, you are also exercising your brain, building concentration and practicing pattern recognition.
Opt for a natural solution for depression that has you moving and grooving, instead of just turning to medications. This fun form of exercise elevates two neurotransmitters (dopamine and endorphins) responsible for feelings of happiness and pleasure. Patients in one study experienced the least symptoms of depression and increased vitality with upbeat group dance. And, in another study of a 12-week dance program, teenagers diagnosed with depression showed reduced levels of depression.
ENHANCE ESTEEM AND EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
Tap into your creative side, go with the flow and get into the zone as you dance up a storm! Channel your emotions into an uplifting and positive experience as you burn those calories and get fit. And, expressing yourself creatively and artistically can enable growth of your identity. Whether you’re more of a shy wallflower or outgoing social butterfly, you can have fun as you improve your social skills. Dancing with someone else or in a group is an ideal way to feel included and supported, build bonds and boost your self-esteem.
COOLER CARDIO FOR A HEALTHIER HEART
Tired of repetitively running on a treadmill? Dance to beats that get your heartbeat going, instead. Support your lungs as you improve your breathing and increase your physical stamina. Researchers found that moderate-intensity dancing, after an average follow up of about 10 years was linked to lower risk of cardiovascular death. You can glean similar health benefits doing short bursts of intensity dancing, as in interval training.
BETTER BALANCE, STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY AND AGILITY
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to improve your balance, strength, flexibility and agility. You may not be able to do the splits or a 180-degree penche (holding one leg up behind you in the air), but dancing and stretching consistently will definitely benefit your body. Your muscles, ligaments and joints will get toned and in better shape to support your body. You will stand with better posture and move with more grace and ease.
No need to overdo it. Make sure you take breaks, are gentle on your body and stay hydrated with enough water. So, turn the music up, get revved up and dance it out!