If you find yourself stuck in a fitness rut, try dancing your way back to fitness!
Traditional exercise can become routine and boring if you don’t mix it up. Incorporating new ways to work out can help you to stay invested so you can actually look forward to your workouts. Learning a new style of dance is a great way to get your groove on while getting aerobic exercise and improving your balance and brain function!
If the idea of dancing for fitness is intimidating, don’t worry – you don’t have to have the moves of Ginger Rogers or Michael Jackson to pick up dance. You just need an open mind and some extra space.
Dancing gets you to move your muscles. As a low-impact exercise, dancing alleviates stiff joints and increases your leg and core strength. Building that kind of strength can improve posture and balance and even help reduce the chance of getting osteoporosis. The movement can also increase flexibility, aerobic fitness, and mobility while burning calories and helping you lose weight.
- All that dancing is also great for your heart! Not just because it’s so fun, but because the moves can get your heart pumping and blood flowing, improving your cardiovascular health. Dancing goes even further than just being a great physical activity. The way it affects brain function makes it one of the most beneficial physical activities for people of all ages and fitness levels. Learning new steps, such as a salsa or a waltz, stimulates neurons and creates muscle memory, both of which benefit neurological function and balance.
- By getting the brain and body to work together, you can achieve new levels of “superfluidity” and flow.
- Dancing as a group might have even helped our ancestors feel more connected to one another: “As a social species, being part of a group has survival value. … Dancing together, especially in synchrony, can signal that you are actually simpatico with lots of other people. The researchers think this is why so many cultures have synchronized dancing and why it might have health benefits.” (NPR)
So, this Monday, grab a friend, put on your dancing shoes, and cut a rug!