Hello! After reading the title you may say it sounds good, but I can’t dance. Well, you don’t have to be a good dancer to get exercise. As long as you can stand upright and move your legs while standing you can dance and burn calories. It may feel a little silly or goofy, but if you do it enough over time it’ll get better.
The good thing is, whether you’re a great dancer or not, as long as you’re moving it’s beneficial to you.
Trust me, your heart, lungs, and muscles don’t care if you move with a lot of grace, they’re just happy you’re moving. So hopefully I’ve helped you feel a little more at ease and less self-conscious. Relax, smile, and have fun with it!
Sometimes people ask me, what about dancing to lose weight? My reply is very simple, yes it’s an awesome and fun way to lose weight and enhance your fitness. Dancing has actually become a very popular form of exercise around the world over the last several years.
It’s also England’s fastest growing art form, and over 4 million people attend community dance groups there each year. One thing I’d like to point out before you sign up for a dance class or dance for leisure is comfortable attire. Make sure you have loose clothing that isn’t restrictive and comfortable shoes. You may have to wear special shoes for some classes.
Also, avoid jewelry as much as possible because it may scratch you or your partner. There is one note of caution I’d like to mention. Make sure you get a check up by a physician before taking a dance class or dancing in general.
This is especially true if you haven’t been physically active on a regular basis. Next, I’d like to share some excellent benefits you can get from dancing just 30 minutes or more 3 or more times a week.
Benefits of Dancing
1. Motor Skills, Perception, Balance, Coordination – Dancing increases neural activity in your brain which helps improve all 4 of these areas.
2. Skeleton and Bones – Research has shown dancing can strengthen your skeleton, bones, and help prevent osteoporosis.
3. Endorphins – Endorphins are chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and improve your mood. Dancing can cause these chemicals to be released putting you in a better mood and relieving stress.
4. Cardio – Dancing can make your heart and lungs stronger and also improve your circulation. By having a healthier heart you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
5. Caloric Burn – Depending on the type of dance you’re doing and its intensity, on average you can burn about 200 calories per 30 minutes.
6. Strengthen Muscles – Many of your core muscles such as your back, chest, abs, and glutes (buttocks) can get stronger.
Your legs can easily get stronger, and even your arms can get a workout with some dances involving a partner.
7. Flexibility – With some dances your arms and legs will be moving through a full range of motion. This in turn will strengthen your joints and help you be more flexible.
8. Memory – Since your nervous system is involved with movement in dancing, it basically exercises your brain which improves memory and focus.
9. Dementia – Studies have shown that dancing may lower your risk of dementia because of increased neural activity while moving.
10. Enjoyment – Joining a dance class or dancing at social functions can help expand your social life. It’s a great way to make new friends while having fun. Or just dancing at home with family and friends can be a lot of fun as well.
The ACE (American Council on Exercise) did a really nice article on dancing and exercise you can see here if you like.
Below is a list of some popular dances you can do that are awesome exercise. Actually, any type of dancing can be good exercise as long as there’s movement involved. These are just some examples and if there are other dances you like to do that’s great! What’s important is that you do a type of dance you like so it can be more fun.
1. Jazz – Jazz dancing can exercise your entire body by providing many unique twists and moves. It also has a relaxing tone to help put you in a pleasant mood.
2. Bollywood – This type of dancing combines classic Indian dance moves involving your hands and feet with modern styles such as hip hop.
3. Tap – Tap dancing uses shoes with small metal plates to make the dancing part of the musical sound. It originally started in Africa and has evolved in the United States.
4. Zumba – Zumba has become a very popular dance exercise over the last few years. The word Zumba means to move fast and have fun. It can be a great way to get a cardiovascular workout in.
5. Ballroom – With Ballroom dancing both partners need to know the steps so they can dance smoothly together. Some examples of this kind of dance are the Waltz and Tango.
6. Salsa – The word Salsa is Spanish for sauce (usually hot) and it equates to dancing that is energetic and passionate.
7. Ballet – Ballet is a type of dance that’s graceful and smooth. It originated in France and has become popular in the United States.
8. Line – For those that like Country music, line dancing can be a good option. The beat usually isn’t hard to follow and it’s not too difficult to learn.
9. Hip Hop – If you’re looking to burn a lot of calories hip hop may be the way to go. Many times it has an upbeat tempo that requires you to move fairly fast.
10. Pole – Yes, Pole dancing can be a form of exercise. For women looking to improve their upper body strength, a pole dancing class can be a good choice. It also can be a way to add a lot of fun to your relationship if you have a significant other.
Summary – Dancing can be one of the funnest ways to burn calories, strengthen your body, and enhance your cardiorespiratory system. Even if you’re shy about dancing in public, you can still have a blast with it at home. You can dance with a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, other family member, friends, or just by yourself.
Since summer time is right around the corner you can have a barbecue and invite some friends over. You can turn some music on and dance in a warm, sunny environment. You and your friends can have fun checking out everyone’s dance style or even have a dance contest.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what type of dance you do, as long as you’re moving and having fun. If you have any experiences with dancing you’d like to share with us please leave a comment. Or if you have any general comments or questions please let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks for reading and have fun dancing the night away!