If you are wanting to start an exercise program, but the idea of joining a gym does not excite you or isn’t even available in your area, why not try dance? There are a lot of physical and emotional benefits from dance!
Physical Benefits of Dance
We all know that exercise is one of the best ways to turn back the clock by keeping our bodies limber and strong. The trick is finding a physical activity you look forward to doing every day. Dance is a form of exercise that is social, fun and a good workout! Dancing continuously for just half an hour can shed over 400 calories! Dance also improves muscle tone and strength, strengthens your heart, increases energy levels and lowers your blood pressure!
Before any dance class, be sure to stretch and limber up for at least 10 minutes so that your neck, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are all nice and loose. No matter which style of dance you choose to do, you will want to make sure you are limber.
Dance is not only for physical health, but highly beneficial for emotional health as well. The moment you start dancing, your body starts releasing hormones called endorphins, the same response runners get from long distance running. Endorphins act as natural pain relievers. However, unlike man made pain relievers, endorphins do not lead to addiction or dependence. If you do get addicted to an endorphin rush, it will only motivate you to get out and start moving for improved physical and emotional health.
Dance relieves your body from day to day stress and heals the entire system from inside-out, thus making you more calm and happy. For most people, it is OK to start an exercise program without checking with a health care provider. However, if you have not exercised in a while, are over age 50, or have a medical condition such as diabetes or heart disease, contact your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Memorizing dance steps and moving to a beat, requires mental energy too. Learning a new dance improves cognitive skills in people of all age ranges, but especially the elderly. Professional athletes use to improve their awareness of their physical space, coordination and ability to remember the next play. Dance requires you to pay attention to more than one thing at a time, and physically react to it. Listening to the beat, remembering the next step and paying attention to your partner for several minutes at a time, requires quite a bit of mental energy.
So have some fun with your work out routine and go Salsa, Flamenco, Ball Room, Line, or Disco your way to fitness!