Dancing Isn’t Just Fun — It’s Really Good For Your Health

 

It’s time to get your groove on. Dancing has a way of taking your cares away. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Electric Slide, the Macarena or your own crazy moves. Who hasn’t gotten lost in an upbeat song as they jumped around?too

But not only does it feel good to the soul, dancing also has some major health perks. Research shows dancing can improve your mental health by boosting your overall happiness. If you’re looking for a reason to shake it off today, check out some of the benefits below. Dance party, anyone?
 
Dancing is a great cardio workout.
 
Like any good, low-impact cardio workout, dancing can improve cardiovascular health, increase stamina, strengthen bones and muscles and stave off illnesses. But aside from the perks associated any heart-pounding activity, dancing has a cardio edge with unique benefits that actually can’t be achieved by other low-impact exercises.
 
Dancing can give you more than traditional cardio,” JP Santana, an exercise physiologist and education team member for Latin Jam Workout.
 
JP Santana describes five components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and muscular strength. An activity like running on the treadmill may improve cardiovascular endurance and body composition, but an activity like dancing can actually target those two as well as muscular endurance and flexibility. And that’s on top of improved balance, agility, coordination, power, reactivity and speed, he explains.
 
But we’re not talking slow dances here — to count as true cardio, Santana suggests aiming for an exertion level somewhere between a 5 and a 7 on a scale where 1 is resting and 10 is the hardest thing you can do. Try the talk test: You shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t speak, but your words should be a little choppy and your breath heavy.
 
If exercise is not an enjoyable experience, we’re not going to do it,” Comana said. And the bottom line is that dancing is, plain and simple, fun in the way a monotonous treadmill run probably never will be. Plus, busting a move can trigger the release of feel good hormones like serotonin and endorphins.
 
People think, ‘I’m not exercising, I’m dancing,’” he continued. “But at the end of the day, you’re moving and you’re burning calories. It’s just as good as a cardio class.”
 
And, as fitness expert JP Santana explains, not only will you be more likely to stick with a fitness routine if it’s fun, but you’ll also want to do it for longer. “This will push you to move for a longer period of time than typical exercise, purely because it’s a lot of fun and not the dreaded word ‘exercise,’” . “Dance inspires people to get in shape with something they love to do, which doesn’t feel like dreaded exercise or a bad chore, but fun and exhilarating.
 

It can be a social activity.

 
As much as we all love to dance when there’s nobody watching, there’s something irresistible about dancing with other people, whether it’s with a partner or a class-full of fellow booty shakers.
 
The nice thing about dance is that it’s inclusive,” Santana explained. “Exercise is not inclusive, some people feel like they don’t have the skill set and they’re embarrassed ... I think anyone can just start to dance and enjoy the experience.
 
Nervous about dancing in front of people? Start out in your own living room, moving to a song you just can’t resist. “There is a dancer in all of us.
 
And don’t let two left feet keep you from joining in on the fun. “Don’t get intimidated because you feel like you’re not a good dancer. Who cares?”  It’s about you moving your body in your way not like the rest of the people in the class. Zone out and focus on how great you feel and that no one is judging your abilities.
 

 

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