Think back to the last time you danced. Not a little side-to-side swaying when you’re in a good mood, but a full-body boogie that put a smile on your face, put your arms in the air and allowed all of your inhibitions to melt away. Wouldn’t it be great to do that every day as a form of exercise? Well, dancing is a bona fide weight loss workout-in a fitness class or with your family on a Monday night-offering benefits such as healthier cardiovascular system, stronger bones, and improved mood. Not to mention, a turn on the dance floor can burn 200 to 500 calories per hour!
Dancing has many wonderful attributes apart from burning calories. It strengthens your muscles, which in turn better stabilizes your joints, protecting them from injury. It is lower impact than running and much easier on the joints of the knees and ankles. All styles of dancing are considered weight-bearing exercises, which strengthens the bones and is the only kind of exercise that can actually slow down bone loss.
Dancing activates nearly every muscle in the body and as a result, naturally strengthens the core, improves flexibility, balance, and posture, and aids in weight loss, which will improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Between 2002 through 2010, there was a 26 percent increase in interest for dance as a fitness class in health clubs. Some of that rise is due to the introduction of Zumba, a Latin-inspired dance workout class. Since then, several other dance-inspired workouts were created, including hip-hop, Batuka, a new class that borrows moves from belly dancing, and salsa, which recently hit health clubs last fall.
Like other exercises, dancing can modulate levels of brain chemicals associated with mood, such as dopamine, nor epinephrine and serotonin. There is also a sense of achievement that comes with mastering new skills. So whether your family members are new to the dance scene or are trained dancers, reap the benefits of dancing: turn on some music and break out into a dance session this weekend!
How do you encourage your family to get on the dance floor? Share in the comments below!
This post was originally posted on the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts blog. Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is a weight loss and fitness resort program focused on helping guests achieve a long term healthy lifestyle. Resorts offer guests ongoing support in their efforts to lose weight and create a healthier lifestyle.
Stephanie Siricio is a guest yoga and pilates instructor at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts and a Yoga Personal Trainer at the Jewish Community Center in West Nyack, New York. Stephanie has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 15 years. Her classes focus on breath, alignment detail and overall benefits of each posture.