The 9 Ways That Dancing Can Help You Live A Better Life
On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Nine really good reasons to go dancing as often as possible. As New Year’s Resolutions go, dancing is a fun way to hit a lot of the most popular categories. Dancing comes in a variety of styles, but all of them render a variety of health benefits that we’ll discuss below.
Dancing Your Way To Optimum Health And Happiness
Unlike a lot of gym workouts, dancing is fun and you can keep at it for hours at a time. Likewise, you don’t need special equipment to do it. All you need is some music and a bit of floor space. Even if the music is only in your head or if you’re humming a tune to keep time, you can boogie oogie oogie ’til you just can’t boogie no mo’.
1) Better Balance
Depending on the type of dance you select, balance can play a major part in executing the choreography correctly. Even if you’re just moving to the beat and waving your arms around, dancing works most muscle groups in your body and leads to improved tone, posture and balance. All of these benefits can help if you’re getting older and less steady on your feet. Taking some time out of your busy week to go dancing can help you stay strong and limber well into your golden years.
2) Diminishes Depression
Studies have shown that dance can have an observable positive effect on people suffering from depression. The cardiovascular workout circulates oxygen-rich blood throughout the body and the aspect of being in a positive social setting with a lot of people who are having fun can cause a sympathetic response. People who go dancing have demonstrated less depressive symptoms. Get your heart pumping, your heart singing and your soul reaching out to your fellow dancers if you want a surefire cure for the blues.
3) Expand Energy
The funny thing about the human body is that the more you use it, the more you can. Engaging in exercise of any kind on a regular basis fires up your internal batteries and generates more and more energy. Start slow and keep at it. With dancing, this isn’t all that hard. The more you do it, the more you’ll want to.
4) Find Friends
When you pick a style of dance you would like to engage in, you’re automatically set up to find people who have something in common with you. When you’re in a positive social setting with music you enjoy and people who like the same music as you, you’re already in your happy place. Staying socially active increases happiness which reduces stress and boosts your immune system.
5) Fortify Flexibility and Salves Stiffness
Most styles of dance work all the major muscle groups in your body without being jarring like jogging or team sports. Because you’re staying active and moving in a fluid and rhythmic way, the muscles will stay supple and flexible. When your muscles are worked actively without overdoing it, you won’t experience the kind of stiffness that you experience from a weight lifting session or a game of tackle football.
6) Heart Health
Because you are moving, your heart will benefit. If you suffer from a cardiovascular disorder, taking up a slow form of dance such as ballroom dancing or certain cultural forms can improve breathing, circulation and overall health. Because there are so many kinds of dance, you can choose the one that is right for you and your physical condition.
7) Slashes Stress
Having a chance to get out with friends, listening to music you enjoy and taking a few turns with your favorite dance partner can do wonders to alleviate stress in your life. The sense of togetherness that comes from dancing with a partner or a group of friends takes your mind off of your worries for a while. The aerobic workout and social interaction will improve your frame of mind.
8) Stimulates The Smarts
Aerobic exercise like dance can reverse volume loss in the memory centers of your brain. If you are doing a specifically choreographed style of dance, having to remember the steps and the correct sequence can help to keep the brain active and offset potential development of dementia. As much as we like to sit down, switch on the TV and zone out for the night, that’s really the road to doom. Getting out and engaging socially and concentrating on your dance steps will forestall the ravages of old age.
9) Winnow Weight
This is a gimme. Move more + eat less = lose weight. When you’re dancing, you can burn 400 or more calories an hour depending on the style and intensity. Slower forms will only burn about 200 calories per hour, while faster dancing can burn almost 400 calories per hour. Since it is enjoyable, it is easier for you to keep at it which helps to maintain the consistency needed to lose and maintain your desired body weight.
An added benefit that I discovered for dance is not only that it’s fun, but that it can keep you warm! I was working in a factory that hadn’t quite figured out how to work a thermostat. Some days, when it was really cold out, it was really cold inside as well. By turning on my mental play list, I kept my body moving. This raised my core body temperature and circulated warm blood to my extremities. What’s more, my coworkers got a free show. I kept warm and spread a lot of Christmas cheer. You can’t ask for a better result than that!
Let us know how dance has improved your life. If you haven’t started yet, give it a try. As resolutions go, this one ticks all the boxes. Give it a try this year. Your body and your mind will thank you.