Do You Wanna Dance?
Here’s how to sneak more dancing into your life, one song at a time!
The joy of dancing begins in the brain and goes to the toes. The music helps the mind, the movement burns body fat, and many more health and fitness benefits follow.
While walking, running, cycling, gym and other workouts have potential ups and downs, dancing is a nearly failsafe aerobic activity. It could also improve aging and even help save your life. Studies show that, compared to other training routines, dancing has the power to be more effective in improving health outcomes.
Dancing not only can provide important overall benefits for virtually everyone, but also as a cross-training approach to complement other athletic activities. It’s also a powerful tool in rehabilitation, and a great brain-body stimulus for children.
Here’s a secret to the joy and benefits of dancing—it only takes a single song!
Your brain and body can accumule dance time, one song at a time. Turn on your dance mode whenever you have a moment or two. A song in the morning, one during lunch, more later in the day and evening, and suddenly you amass a whole dance session. You’ve added significantly to the joy of dancing, increased physical movement and aerobic benefits, and helped create a better brain.
You can also plan longer sessions, find live music, or take lessons, and dance for whatever amount of time is available.
Whether the music comes from speakers or earbuds, is live, or played all in your mind, it can work in many locations. Bop around the kitchen while cooking, twirl to your favorite tune when cleaning, sway while waiting for a bus, or when singing in the shower!
You can ballroom dance with a partner, tango, waltz or rumba, or go freestyle—do what moves you. As long as it's fun!
In the body, dancing can improve fitness like other forms of exercise. For most people, it’s a safe, effective physical activity to help reduce excess body fat, improve balance, and enhance cardiovascular fitness. It’s not only good for muscles, but bones too, and dancing can increase flexibility without the need for stretching.
In the brain, dancing can improve neuroplasticity, compensating for injury, disease, and aging. And it can increase cognitive performance, including learning and memory.
While we can dance alone to obtain these benefits, doing it with others can provide even more enjoyment and benefits. It’s no surprise that there is a higher level of adherence with dance compared to other types of exercise.
If you’ve not been very active lately, build up by slow and easy dancing. Gradually move more muscles and joints throughout the body to your personal tolerance. Keep it simple and easy. Wear flat comfortable shoes that fit well or go barefoot.
In case you missed it, allow me to entice you with a seductive music video that will make you wanna dance: Secret Lover.
You can also go to my two lists of Exercise & Dance Songs (one easy, the other faster).
While dancing can have huge benefits, of prime importance is improving your metabolism by eating healthy food and avoiding junk. Like all exercise, food may be more important than the activity itself.
So put on some music, kick off your shoes, and dance your way to better health and fitness!