According to an article published by the American Heart Foundation, “To stimulate people to exercise, alternative forms of exercise should be found. One of those may be dancing. Dance is a form of exercise that combines movement, social interaction, and fun. People involved in courses of dance are generally well motivated to continue the program until the end, with a low rate of withdrawal.”
Just 30 minutes of dance burns approximately 200 calories, and could well be more if you push up the pace! Not only will you burn calories, you will also build strength, fitness, and flexibility not to mention mastering a new skill that you can use anywhere and everywhere – no equipment required!
The key to burning calories is to move your whole body. Dance is a full body workout, using your heart, cardiovascular system and lungs, which really improves your stamina, posture and balance. Because dance is multi-directional, as opposed to many pieces of gym equipment (treadmill, elliptical etc.) your joints really benefit from the varied movements, as do the multiple muscle groups involved in this aerobic workout. Unlike a stationary bike for example, dancing is a weight-bearing form of exercise, which is important for maintaining and building bone density. Dance really is a full body fit blaster!
According to Fitday “To lose weight by dancing, you should strive for at least 20 minutes of time with an accelerated heart-rate at least 4-5 days a week. You should start with a 5 minute warm-up and end with a 5 minute cool-down which means 30 minutes, 4-5 times a week.” If you factor in a longer dance class, that’s just a few extra ‘at-home’ practice sessions, and you’ll be fit as a fiddle!
Getting to the gym can be difficult, especially psychologically when all you have to look forward to are rows of equipment. Exercise Physiologist Polly Mille says “The best exercise program is one that is safe, balanced, promotes fitness and, importantly, one that people will do regularly because they enjoy it.” Gym workouts are focused on physical exercise, whereas dance gives you the same workout but is also mental, spiritual and creative, giving you a more holistic approach to health that you can really enjoy.
There are a variety of different dance styles so you’re bound to find one that’s just right for you, whether that’s high or low impact, fast or slow, easy or difficult, find some music that you like, and get moving to it!
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