Why add dance into your workout regimen? There are so many benefits to dancing for fitness and we've got the rundown for you.
1. Cardiovascular Fitness
Dancing is mainly a cardio workout, which means it can get your heart rate to rise exponentially, in turn helping you burn calories like crazy. The nice thing is the level of cardio you get is up to YOU. You can rev your dancing up to make it a high intensity cardio workout, or take it easy to steadily increase you heart rate but not push yourself too far.
2. Calorie Burn
You can burn between 200-400 calories for every 30 minutes of dancing you do, depending on the intensity and speed of your movements. That means just a one hour dance fitness class could burn almost 1,000 calories!
3. Rediscover Your Playful Side
Let's face it, dancing is FUN! Dancing allows you to express yourself freely, let loose and forget about the responsibilities and tensions of the real world, and reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. As adults we can tend to take things too seriously, but dancing reminds us to enjoy life and enjoy the beauty our bodies can create.
Dancing is a great way to return to exercise after being injured or after simply being out of the fitness game for a while. It's a great way to get back into a fitness routine because it's low impact and does not put too much stress on the body.
5. Balance and Coordination
Studies have shown that since dance improves overall balance and coordination, people who dance on a regular basis are less likely to have incidents of falling as they get older. Dancing also maintains healthy muscles and bone structure which are key components to staying balanced and coordinated as you age.
6. Brain Food
Activities (such as dancing) that involve both physical and mental activity simultaneously can vastly slow down the onset of Alzheimer's Disease, studies have shown. In addition, learning dance choreography forces the brain and the body to be tightly coordinated, keeping the brain sharp.
7. Social Benefits
Dancing in a fitness class is typically done in a friendly, laid back, and fun environment that makes it easy to meet other like-minded people. It is much easier to socialize in a dance fitness or social dancing class then going to a gym, running on a treadmill with your headphones in, doing a few machines, and walking out without speaking to one single person! Not only does a structured dance class allow you to easily meet new people, but it's also conducive to creating long lasting friendships.
8. Stress Relief
Any psychologist, therapist or doctor will tell you that in order to stay healthy you need to find a productive way to deal with stress. Dancing is a great stress reliever because it's an easy way to express your emotions through movement, counteracting the need to bottle up negative feelings and stress. Many times, dancing simply allows your mind to escape and focus on the movement for a while, allowing you to forget any worries or stresses from the day.
9. Bone Health
The wide variety of movements used in dancing strengthen weight-bearing bones to help prevent loss of bone mass as you age.
10. Creative Expression and "Flow" Improve Overall Well-Being
Dancing, especially when choreographing or free-styling, allows your creativity to come alive and enables you to get into a state of "flow". Studies have shown that creative people in general are happier and have shown a direct link between creativity and overall well-being. See this article to read more on how "flow" and creativity are linked to health and happiness. It's true that practicing creativity in your daily life will make you a happier person!
So what are you waiting for? GO DANCE and experience all of these benefits, plus so much more. Even if you can't find a dance class in your area, just put some headphones in and shake it for a while! Or make like Cameron Diaz in "The Sweetest Thing" (check out the video clip! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_LSrWRF_Bo) and dance on your way to and from work! However you go about it, your body and brain will reap the benefits.
Stay Fit and In Flight,