Music floats through the air and soon enough, you can’t resist tapping a toe, moving a leg, circling a hip and before you know it, you’re all over the dance floor. Your heart rate is high, a little bit of sweat is beading at your hairline and your feet are getting sore. Dancing—who knew it was such a good workout?
Dancing for fitness has been around for years now. And with good reason: the benefits of dancing affect both your mind and body. Depending on the style of dancing, you can improve your heart health, joint mobility and improve strength and balance. Since you’re moving your body in many different ways, you’re turning on and conditioning all of your muscles.
The benefits of dancing also extend to your mental health. Dancing challenges your brain by requiring you to focus on the constant changing of movement and recalling both moves and patterns. It is known to improve your mood by reducing stress, and can even provide an emotional outlet to express your feelings through body movements.
There are many ways you can try dancing for fitness, whether it’s a class at your gym, community center—or even a class online. Check out these danced-based exercises and experience the benefits of dancing yourself:
A ZUMBA class feels more like a party than a workout. With upbeat and fast-paced music, you’ll follow the instructor and get your heart rate up. Since the moves flow to the music, the exercise frequently varies in intensity, which helps you firm up and build muscle.
Ballroom dancing is a straight-forward dance instruction and you’ll get a surprisingly good workout while twirling to old-time melodies. This type of dance will help build your core and leg muscles, all while improving your balance.
Jazz is a high-energy form of dance that you’ll typically see on Broadway. With lots of kicks, leaps, jumps and turns, you’ll be strengthening your abs while developing poise and grace.
You don’t need a formal class to enjoy music and sneak in a workout—just put on some tunes in your house and move any way the music takes you. Try whatever beat makes your heart beat!
The benefits of dancing are hard to pass up, so grab your dancing shoes and get moving! For more healthy living tips like this, be sure to check out the My Food and Family Healthy Living Center.