Whether you take a hip-hop class, pop in a Zumba DVD, go salsa dancing with friends or freestyle in your own living room, it’s absolutely possible to dance your way to better mental and physical health. Here are just a few reasons to cut a rug more often.
MIND: Dancing helps improve brain function by combining cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory, and it may offer protection against dementia.
HEART: Dancing elevates your heart rate, which qualifies as physical activity. Getting at least 30 minutes a day most days can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
WAISTLINE: Aerobic dancing such as Zumba can burn up to 500 calories per hour. In fact, one study found that dancing was just as effective as cycling and running for losing weight and improving aerobic capacity.
BALANCE: Your core plays a key role in dancing. By strengthening your stomach, legs and other stabilizing muscle groups, you can improve your balance. A study of older adults found that doing the tango regularly did just that.
MOOD: Dancing has been shown to boost your mood even better than traditional exercise, and it has also been found to be useful in treating depression.
“Dancing is a whole-body workout that’s a whole lot of fun!” says Kim Yawn, assistant director at Beaufort Memorial LifeFit Wellness Center. “And it works for almost everyone—beginners or pros. Whether you sign up for a class or follow along with a gaming system or DVD, the most important thing is to find an exercise routine you enjoy and get moving.”
If you’d like to improve your physical fitness, Beaufort Memorial LifeFit Wellness Center can help. For more information, call 843-522-5635.