Many people want to get fit, but find themselves struggling to stick to a workout routine. One of the most common reasons for this is that they do not enjoy the types of exercise they are doing. Finding your workout arduous or boring means you are far more likely to quit.
The key? Finding something that you love! Read on to learn why you should give dancing a try.
The Health Benefits of Dancing
Dancing has numerous benefits for your physical health and mental wellbeing. Vigorous dancing gets your heart beating faster, giving you an all-over workout and improving your cardiovascular fitness.
Dancing improves your muscle strength, using your muscles in different ways to the activities you do in daily life. It also helps to improve your posture and balance.
The benefits aren’t just physical, either. Dance can boost your cognitive ability by tapping into different areas of the brain, and remembering a sequence of steps is a challenging form of mental exercise.
Have you ever felt immediately cheered up after dancing along to one of your favorite tunes? That’s because dancing, like many physical activities, releases hormones known as endorphins. These chemicals are directly responsible for making you feel happy, relaxed, and even euphoric.
Dancing is also incredibly expressive, and can be a way for you to release pent-up emotions in a healthy manner.
Finally, dancing is a wonderful social activity. Though you might also enjoy dancing alone at home, there’s something extra special about dancing with others. This might be your partner, your children, your friends, or your fellow students in a dancing class.
In the next section, we will take a close look at 4 popular dance styles and the benefits they offer.
Dating back to the 1500s and originating in Italy, ballet is a formalized dance style that is associated with flowing movements, light footwork, and an ethereal quality. Though professional ballet dancers train from early childhood, you can start dancing ballet for fun and fitness at any age. Many studios offer adult classes for complete beginners.
Ballet uses all your muscles and will test your strength, flexibility, and coordination. It’s also incredibly athletic and burns some serious calories.
If you suffer from back pain, ballet can also be a great way to improve your posture. Ballet movements demand a strong posture, and the various arm exercises can help to release tension and strengthen your spine.
If dancing with a partner appeals to you, then ballroom dance might be perfect for you. Originating in the 16th Century and remaining enduringly popular to this day, ballroom incorporates various forms of partner dancing including the waltz, tango, two-step, and foxtrot.
This high-energy form of dance is sure to get your heart racing and put a smile on your face. Fun and uplifting, you’ll be enjoying yourself long before you’ve got all the moves right.
Partner dancing is also great for building muscle and bone strength, since it includes resisting your partner’s body weight. Men in particular will be able to build some significant strength once they’ve progressed to the point of starting to lift their partners.
If you want to get fit and give your social life a boost at the same time, then swing dancing is a great choice. Incorporating a range of social dances including the Lindy Hop, Balboa, and Charleston, swing dancing is upbeat, lively, and tremendous fun.
In many swing dance classes, it is customary for people to “rotate” and dance with different partners throughout the class. But if you feel more comfortable taking your partner or a friend and just dancing together to begin with, that’s usually fine as well.
Swing dance has all the physical benefits of other styles of dance, while also giving you the opportunity to meet fellow dance enthusiasts and make new friends.
Tap dancing is so called because the dancers make a percussive sound by wearing small pieces of metal (called “taps”) on their shoes, which strike the floor as they dance. Particularly popular in the world of musical theater, tap dancing has a focus on musicality, rhythms, and precision timing.
Tap dancing is a great workout which boosts your heart rate and particularly challenges your legs, feet, and lower body. Since you’ll need to stay focused, it’s also a fantastic workout for your brain. And if you enjoy making a little noise occasionally, the sound and physicality of tap dancing can be a wonderfully cathartic way to release stress.