Health Benefits of Dancing

belly dancing

Are you one of those who dance like crazy across the room when alone at home? Be proud. Not only is shaking your booty a great way to unleash the inner you and to have fun, it also gives you many positive health benefits. Whether alone or with a partner or group, dancing is an exceptional way for people to get and stay in shape.

According to Mayo Clinic researcher, dancing reduces stress, increases energy, improves strength, improves coordination, and enhances muscle tone. In addition, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) reported that dancing lowers the risk of heart disease, decreases blood pressure, helps in managing weight, and strengthens the leg and hip bones. Whatever the dance is – be it classical, hip-hop, Latin, country, or folk – dancing can be good for your health.

Dancing for health

If you want to be flexible, dancing is perfect for you. Many types of dance have movements that require stretching and bending, so you’ll naturally become flexible just by dancing. Dancing also builds strength as it forces your muscles to resist against your own body weight. In dances such as ballet and jazz, your leg muscles have to be strong as these types of dance require you to leap and jump high into the air.

In addition, dancing is comparable to riding a bicycle or swimming in terms of burning calories. A 30-minute sustained dancing can burn 200-400 calories. Because of this, health and fitness experts recommend 30-40 minutes of dancing three or four times every week. What’s more, dance also increases your endurance. By elevating your heart rate, dancing can increase your stamina. It can also lower your blood pressure and improve cholesterol profile.

Dancing can stimulate your mind, too. It can even reduce risks associated with Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly, according to 21-year study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that elderly who engaged in dancing (among other activities such as reading and playing board games and musical instruments) once a week had lower risk of dementia (7%) compared to participants who did not. But the risk is much lower (63%) for participants who performed these activities for at least 11 days per month.

Specific benefits

What health benefits do some popular dances provide? Here’s a list of specific benefits you’ll get from some dances:

Belly dancing: More Flexibility, improved posture, muscle toning, improved lower back condition, arm and shoulder toning, weight loss, and stress reduction.

Ballroom dancing: Body conditioning, improved heart condition, increased stamina, improved circulatory system, stronger and leaner legs and body, more flexibility and balance, weight loss, stress reduction.

Salsa dancing: Increased endurance and stamina, weight loss, stress reduction, washing away of toxins through sweating, lower blood pressure, and improved cholesterol profile.

Square dancing: Cardiovascular conditioning, lower blood pressure, slower heart rate, improved cholesterol levels, stronger bones, and muscle toning.