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By Letshego Zulu


Here’s how dancing can help get you in shape for summer

Many dancing styles need lifting, leaping and twirling, which build muscles.

Everyone should exercise, right? But, does getting on a treadmill or going to a gym fill you with the same dread as getting a root canal? If so, consider dancing. Dance is one of the best forms of exercise there is.

It’s an exercise that engages the entire body as well as the mind.

Learning and remembering choreography keeps your brain active while constant movement addresses your heart, circulation, balance, muscles and joints.

It’s great exercise for both men and women. So, if you need to add a shot of energy into your workouts, and you’re looking for a fresh, different and fun way to exercise, you need to start dancing.

Here are a few benefits of dancing:

Dance has so many benefits for both your health and mind that it’s difficult to mention them all. We’ve put together some we consider to be at the top of the list for your health and general wellbeing.

Dancing provides aerobic and anaerobic exercise

As the best form of exercise, dancing gives you both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. With running, you may only target your aerobic.

With resistance training, you may only get anaerobic. Both types are very important and our bodies need a combination of the two for maximum health.

In dance, you achieve aerobic exercise by moving, jumping, and twirling. The anaerobic type of exercise comes when you hold positions like squatting and balancing. No matter the dance – whether it is tango, rumba, cha-cha or waltz – you get both aerobic and anaerobic benefits.

There are an infinite number of possibilities to getting a complete workout through dance.

Glad positive people learning zumba steps in dance hall. Picture: iStock

ALSO READ: Is it bad to train the same muscles every day?

Dancing Improves flexibility

Dancing stretches your body in ways that other forms of exercise don’t. Improved flexibility is greatfor your body’s physical health. It reduces the probability of injury in a fall or sprain and it speeds up the time it takes for your muscles to heal after a workout.

Flexibility helps with joint pain and pain from past injuries.

Everyone can benefit from becoming more flexible.

Dancing strengthens upper and lower body

While you may not see the same muscle development with dance as with weightlifting, you still experience total body strengthening with dance. Many dance styles require lifting, leaping, and twirling that require a muscular drive that builds over time.

Dances like the pasodoble, cha-cha and swing are great examples of moving that requires upper and lower body strength.

Dancing improves heart, blood and circulation

Dancing exercise gives you a strong heart, while it also controls cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood. It’s excellent for reducing stress, which in turn helps lower high blood pressure.

Dancing for 20 minutes, just three times a week, can drastically improve your heart health.

When you use dance as exercise regularly, you improve your heart health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dancing promotes a healthier mind

When you dance for exercise on a regular basis, you can reduce mental tension and stress because you stimulate happiness endorphins in the brain that alleviate worries and concerns.

Additionally, dance improves your memory because it forces you to recall steps, patterns and elaborate routines. All of these offer a mental workout for the mind. So, what can be a better benefit than that?

  • You can sign up for a class at your local gym or studio, take one virtually, or hit the town.

NOW READ: How to kickstart your spring in your step

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