Do you feel bored with the same old gym workout yet want to be on the healthier side? Well, dancing can help you stay fit. It doesn’t matter if it is slow or upbeat, the benefits of dance are more than you can imagine. And no, you do not have to move like Michael Jackson or Shakira to get those benefits. All you got to have is your favorite music and you are ready to rock and roll!
What is Dance?
“Dance is an aesthetic expression of the body”, says Sondra Horton Fraleigh, writer of the book ‘Dance and the Lived Body: A Descriptive Aesthetics‘.
In simple words, dancing is moving your body in a rhythmic way to express an emotion, or simply enjoy the free movement of the body.
As the exercise culture is impressively making a move towards a more flexible and less rigid structure, any or every form of physical movement is considered a workout, as long as you are not living a sedentary life. Given its openhanded nature, dance is a part of most exercise forms like Zumba and aerobics as well. Let’s take a look at how it can help to improve your health!
Benefits of Dance
The health benefits of dance include a healthy heart and lungs, increased strength and balance, and weight management. It also helps improve concentration and boost your mood. We can divide these health benefits into three major categories, including physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Let’s take a look.
Physical Health Benefits
The physical health benefits of dance include enhancing your strength and balance, improving your heart and lung health, and helping you in weight loss. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Improves Strength and Balance
Research published in the British Journal of General Practice talks about the benefits of dance as an exercise. The paper reveals that any type of dance you take up can aid in developing bone density, muscle strength and suppleness, coordination, and balance in various amounts.
Dance forms like ballroom and Latin American help to enhance your coordination as they require you to dance in sync with your partner. Ballet is a dance form that helps in improving your overall strength and balance.
Protects Cardiovascular Health
Dancing is an interesting way of keeping your heart and lungs healthy.
Doctors and researchers from the International University of Health and Welfare, Japan, and Iwatsuki Minami Hospital, Japan have found in their 2018 research study that low-impact dance is a useful exercise for people with cardiovascular disease.
The patients were instructed to practice high-knee marching, stepping forward and backward, placing afoot to the front and behind, and other simple arm movements.
Diabetes and Weight Management
If you are looking for an interesting workout to attain those weight loss goals, just bust a move!
Dr. Felice Mangeri, Diabetologist, and Nutritionist at the Hospital of Gavardo, Italy , led research on the effects of ballroom and Latin dancing on people with type 2 diabetes and obesity. The team found that physical activity in the form of dance may be a beneficial strategy for those individuals.
Mental Health Benefits
Doctors have done extensive research in trying to find ways to prevent or delay cognitive decline that is associated with aging.
An exploratory study led by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases depicts the mental benefits of dancing over other monotonic fitness programs. Results of this trial show that dancing regularly is connected to higher cognitive processes such as memory and attention, which may get affected as you age.
Rhythmic movements also keep your brain challenged by having to recall the next step. This makes for a great exercise to help you focus better.
Emotional Health Benefits Of Dance
Dancing has many benefits for your emotional well-being as it helps encourage social bonds and improves your mood by relieving anxiety and stress. Find how it is helpful for you.
Including dance in your routine can change your view and fill you up with optimism.
Helps You Socialize
Researchers at the University of California have found that dancing with a partner helps in better social functioning and it also boosts self-confidence.
The beauty of this art form is that it is eclectic and includes everyone. Even if you are just tapping your foot or merely moving your arms to do the very popular Y.M.C. A., dancing makes it surprisingly easy for you to connect with people.
Improves your mood
If you are feeling low and stressed, play your favorite music, and try doing the sashay. It will instantly lift your spirits.
In the book, “An Introduction to Medical Dance/Movement Therapy: Health Care in Motion,” writer and researcher, Sharon W. Goodill, shows that dancing brings a positive outcome when it comes to vitality, mood, anxiety, mastery, and coping skills.
The most fascinating thing about dancing is that it does not get boring over time. Whether you take up salsa, samba, or ballet, dancing in any form is meant to help your physical, mental as well as emotional health.
What are you waiting for? Let’s trip the light fantastic!