Want to know the best way to burn calories? If you thought running, swimming or cycling, think again! It’s dancing. Getting your groove on is one of the best ways to work up a good sweat while having a good time. And that’s just for starters. Read on to discover the many awesome benefits of dancing and find out why you should give it a try.
Move that body and work those muscles
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Dancing is a full-body cardio workout that also strengthens your bones and improves your flexibility, muscle tone and endurance. As for burning those calories, take it from Dr Nick Smeeton, a principal lecturer at the University of Brighton’s Department of Sport and Exercise Science, in the UK.
In 2015, Dr Smeeton unveiled findings which showed that dancing burns calories per hour more effectively than running, swimming or cycling. You’ll be surprised at how much energy is used up to shimmy, shake and spin.
Dancing and the brain
In March 2017, a study published in Frontiers In Aging Neuroscience indicated that both dancing and endurance training had an anti-ageing effect on the brain of older adults – but only dancing resulted in a marked positive behavioural change.
Happy feet, happy heart
It’s well documented that dancing relieves stress and elevates the amount of serotonin, the buzzy feel-good hormone. Want to relax your mind after work or tear yourself away from your phone? Head for the dance floor!
The joy of movement
So now you know dancing improves every part of your life, what are you waiting for? If you already enjoy moving to the music, keep it up!
But if you’ve never danced in your life, that’s ok. Many of us are naturally shy or think we can’t dance. So you’re definitely not alone. Starting out with a dance fitness class like Zumba or Barre is a great way to build confidence in a friendly, inclusive setting. Just remember, we all start somewhere!
Taking your first (dance) steps
When you’re ready to change your life by dancing, give these how-to-dance tips a go.
Step 1: The Song
Pick a song that you like and familiarise yourself with it, paying special attention to the beat.
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Step 2: The Sway
Now loosen up and sway your body to the beat. When you’ve nailed that, start moving your arms and legs in time.
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Step 3: The Nod
Now it’s time to start moving your head slightly. That’s it – you’re dancing!
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Practise, practise, practise
Practice gives you confidence. From there, you can improvise and come up with your own moves. There really is no right or wrong. Dancing is about joyful self-expression. And if you stumble, make it part of your dance.
We’ll be cheering you on as you explore the dance styles and other physical activities that are right for you. Got other questions about your health and wellness? You can always drop us a line. And don’t forget to sign up for our Dance Hero challenge.