Are you looking for something a little different in your exercise routine? Going to the gym, jogging or bicycling puts you in a rut quickly and exercise becomes a chore.
Dancing for exercise, on the other hand, is an ever-changing activity that gives many of the same benefits of traditional exercise while also offering mental and emotional benefits. For people who are disillusioned with the gym, dance might be the perfect way to get back into shape in a fun, relaxed way that works.
First Benefit: Physical Health
Dancing is a terrific way to increase your physical activity levels. Like walking, swimming or bicycling it offers health benefits that strengthen your muscles, maintain or lose weight, improve your balance and better your general health.
Depending on your general health, it is easy to tailor your dance routine to improve your health without overdoing it. Increasing the rhythm of the music will make your body work harder.
Dancing, unlike other exercises, can be done nearly anywhere and at any time. Dance classes are available and are a terrific way to learn the benefits of dance.
Second Benefit: Mental Health
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, regular dancing can minimize the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and increase your mental activity. The study found that in addition to reducing the risks of dementia it also improved neural activity and increased the neural pathways.
The two-decade long study of seniors included physical activities such as group exercise, swimming, climbing stairs, bowling and more but dancing was the only physical activity that has shown to lower the risk of dementia. Cognitive activities that also lowered the risk of dementia included reading, playing musical instruments and playing board games.
Third Benefit: Emotional Health
If you want to improve your confidence and stave off depression, start dancing. Studies have shown that dancing can improve serotonin and dopamine levels in the body leading to improved psychological stress.
With societal isolation levels on the rise, emotional health has become more important. The number of people who feel alone have doubled in the last 40 years and our technological trends are taking us further away from social interaction, not closer. Dance, however, is a communal activity. Sure, you can dance by yourself, but for most of us, dancing is better when done with a group of friends.
Putting It into Practice
When one specific activity has so many benefits it is not surprising that gyms have picked up on it. Zumba, which combine dance movements with aerobics set to energetic music, was started in the 1990s in Brazil but have spread globally. Classes normally last an hour and can burn anywhere from 500 to a 1000 calories.
All you need to get started is to enroll in a local class. In order to look and feel your best, dance costumes will be of great help and don’t forget to find comfortable footwear. There are Zumba programs designed for everyone from out of shape beginners to hardcore dancers.