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Dancing Your Way to Good Health
Dance is an amazing form of exercise and has so many benefits for both your mind and body. If you’re looking for an excuse to get dancing, here are just a few of many physical and mental benefits of dance:
Dance increases your bodies’ circulation, helping melt those calories whilst also improving physical confidence and speeding up your metabolism. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity. To add to this, many people who join a dance class with the intent of getting in shape find that they have higher success rates than those who just hit the gym. This may be due to the other people you meet and the friendships you build through a dance class or purely because it is more enjoyable.
Increases mobility and flexibility
Dance enables you to move your body in ways that may not be typical in your day to day life. This allows you to build your range of motion and give your muscles a good stretch. Increasing your flexibility will help ease joint pain and post-exercise soreness.
According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. Remembering dance steps and patterns gives dancers a memory boost. Focusing on different parts of the body simultaneously also gives dancers a mental challenge. This mental workout helps the mind to stay sharp.
Reduces stress and anxiety
For decades, therapists have prescribed dancing as an effective therapy for those who suffer from social anxiety or fear of public speaking. The idea: if you can loosen up enough to boogie in front of strangers, you’re a lot less likely to feel self-conscious when hanging out or speaking in front of an audience. Research dating back to the 1980s supports the idea that dancing can curb anxiety.
Dancing also reduces the levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, in your body while giving you an endorphin boost. Many people leave dance class feeling almost elated. Attending an evening dance class can be a great creative outlet and leave you feeling refreshed and ready for work the next day.
The focus on good posture and core strengthening in dance can improve your balance, helping you to gain better control of your body.