The Benefits of Dancing For Physical and Mental Work Out
Dancing with the Stars has become a popular, well-loved show that has inspired others to get moving. Dancing not only provides entertainment for a person but can also be a great outlet for stress relief and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is being utilized in gyms such as the ever so fun Zumba and in private studios. But hey, you don’t need a formal place to dance. It can be done right in the privacy of your own home. You do not need to be a professional to dance. All you have to do is crank the music and MOVE! Below we will provide some benefits to dancing.
Our cognitive function, hence memory, begins to decline as we age. A study done by Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience did a study on ways to combat this. The researchers studied adults ranging from 60-80’s who showed no signs of memory loss or impairment. Participants were assigned 1 of three activities: stretching, brisk walking, dance classes or balance training and monitored for a 6 month period. The individuals that were assigned dancing practiced and learned choreography 3 times a week. The goal was to see if or how aerobic activity protects our brains from aging. (1)
At the end of the study, all participants had a brain scan. These were compared to scans done prior to the study began. The dancers fared better than the other groups and had less deterioration in the brain. It seems logical as dancing requires learning, memory, and combined cognitive and physical training. (2)
Another study found in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. (3)
Improvement in Balance and Coordination
Dancing requires a great deal of coordination and balance. Various athletes, such as football players, take dancing or ballet classes. This is to improve their balance, flexibility, structure, and posture. The benefit of creating better balance and coordination is to prevent falls. [ctt template=”5″ link=”7e2Jw” via=”no” ]Per CDC ‘1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ have a fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and the most common non-fatal trauma-related hospital admission among older adults. [/ctt] Per CDC ‘1 in 4 Americans aged 65+ have a fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and the most common non-fatal trauma-related hospital admission among older adults. Incorporating dance into your exercise routine will improve your agility, balance, physical strength and muscle tone.’ (4)
Social Interaction and Physical Touch
We all love to be touched. It can send endorphins in a similar way that exercise can. Dancing provides this as well as social interaction. Being able to interact with others and have fun lowers your stress level, allows for making friendships and being socially engaged, supports a stronger immune system and makes for a fun time. Something as simple as clasping hands reduces stress-related activity in a brain area called the hypothalamus. This lowers the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, within your system.
Losing weight is a tough and miserable process, at least it always has been for me. It normally involves eliminating all of the foods you love, discipline and countless hours in the gym, none of which I like. Doing this long term is grueling and makes it easy to fall off the wagon. Dance is fun, it’s social and doesn’t have to be the same monotonous thing. It provides variety, little skill and gets your heart rate up quickly.
Gyms now have incorporated dance classes such as Zumba or Hip Hop Dance into their class schedules. There are also plenty of private facilities teaching ballroom or salsa dancing. Being able to shake your bum with others makes the time go quickly and before you know it, you are drenched with sweat and burning calories. It can help tone your body as you are using all of the muscles in your body.
Increase in Energy
Any kind of exercise provides for an improvement in your energy, and dancing is one of them. Dancing can be as light or heavy of a work out as you want. Moving all of our body parts wake us up and ready for the day. You get a healthy sweat that will release your natural ‘feel good’ endorphins to set your day off right. Listening to upbeat music also improves our moods and makes us have positive thoughts, thus increasing our energy.