8 Top Heath Benefits of Dancing for Exercise

When was the last time you danced?  Maybe you do so regularly, or maybe it is something you think you have outgrown.  Or maybe you always said you couldn’t dance.  You may enjoy watching it on television and think about how great those dancers are.  May I say that you are very likely not too old to dance and enjoy it.  The real upside of dancing is that it is really good exercise.  By the way, the excuse that you don’t have a partner is out the door.  There are plenty of dances that don’t require a partner, especially when you’re alone at home. 

You Can Start At Home 

Some of us fear the embarrassment of being out in front of people.  There are plenty of programs you can watch on your television that mix dance with exercise.  They will give you a good start.  You can go at your own pace and do so alone if you want.  If you have a partner at home, get them out on the living room dance floor.  You can do that with very limited space.  The enjoyment you find dancing to just one song will surprise you.  The opportunity will be there to dance one, sit one out, and go at your own pace.

The Physical Benefits Are Real

The first thing you will notice about dancing is that you will get a cardio workout.  Don’t let that discourage you.  You will probably get a little out of breath after one dance.  That’s okay.  You can set a pace that works.  Build up slowly until you can do two or three dances in a row.  As you do that, you will begin to strengthen parts of your body you didn’t realize you worked.  Just watching those dancers on popular shows and commenting on their conditioning does not eliminate you as a contestant at home.  Burning calories while having fun can make it a lot easier.  We often neglect an important part of dancing, social development.  Interacting with someone else can be uplifting and improve your outlook on life.

Branch Out 

There are many organizations around that offer dancing.  It really won’t be so painful to join one as soon as you get a little practice at home.  Use those newfound skills.  That excuse about being too old doesn’t fly either.  I remember seeing that Hal Roach, who was one of the top producers and directors of old comedies would still go out dancing at the age of 100.  So let’s get on some good dancing shoes and hit the family room floor.  We’re going to have fun.

8 Top Health Benefits of Dance

Studies show that dance can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, make friends, and more. Here, read more about the feel-good boosts from getting your groove on. 5-6-7-8!FacebookTwitterPinterestCopy Link

benefits of dance

These days, people love to watch other people dance. Competitive dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars are dominating the world of reality television. What you may not realize, however, is that if you get off the couch and dance yourself, it’s a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. Studies show that dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, make friends, and more.

What are you waiting for? Start reaping the many health benefits of dance today.

Boost Memory

Boost Memory

Dance not only instills grace, but it also helps you age gracefully. According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. Science reveals that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. The hippocampus naturally shrinks during late adulthood, which often leads to impaired memory and sometimes dementia.

Improve Flexibility

Improve Flexibility

Those plies and arabesques that ballet dancers practice aren’t just for aesthetics — they also increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. You can skip the ballet slippers and still reap the benefits of ballet by practicing some simple stretches at home. Increasing your flexibility will help ease joint pain and post-exercise soreness.

Reduce Stress

Reduce Stress

If you’re feeling tense or stressed out, you might want to grab a partner, turn up the music, and tango! In a controlled study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance and musical accompaniment can help bring about stress relief.

Diminish Depression

Diminish Depression

Dancing really does lift your spirits, according to a study in that tested the effects of dancing on people with depression. Patients who participated in an upbeat group dance showed the fewest depression symptoms and the most vitality. Got the blues? Grab a friend and go out dancing tonight.

Help Your Heart

Help Your Heart

Dance is a great activity for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. People with heart failure who took up waltzing improved their heart health, breathing, and quality of life significantly compared to those who biked or walked on a treadmill for exercise, noted an Italian study.

Lose Weight

Lose Weight

Bored with your bicycle? A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that an exercise program of aerobic dance training is just as helpful for losing weight and increasing aerobic power as cycling and jogging.

Balance Better

Balance Better

If you are nervous about falling as you get older, some dance lessons might help ease your worries, according to a study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that showed tango dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Dancing requires a lot of fast movement and good posture, so frequent dancing will help you stabilize and gain better control of your body.

Increase Energy

Increase Energy

Can’t seem to find your get-up-and-go? Taking a dance class might help. Research published in The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program could improve physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.

Make Friends

Make Friends

A dance class is the perfect setting to make new friends and branch out socially. Maintaining positive relationships may just rank up there with healthy eating and exercise. Being socially engaged leads to increased happiness, reduced stress, and a stronger immune system.

FITNESS