Rodale Wellness: 5 Worthwhile Benefits of Dance Workouts

September 01, 2015

Do you have "Moves Like Jagger"? Maybe you just "Wanna Dance With Somebody", or better yet, want to "Just Dance"? Serious talk, now: Getting some one-two-step into your workout routine can do wonders for your fitness.

Here's proof: Curves, the women's destination for weight loss and fitness, has launched a brand new Dance and Tone class at participating locations, that's mixing in some dances moves as part of their strength training interval circuit. After the Zumba craze hit the U.S. several years ago, dance has been one of the go-to forms of fitness. Now, in 1-minute intervals between different strength moves, participants at Curves can mix in some hip-hop moves between the weight lifting.

"It's a great, well-rounded workout that'll fit right into the day," says June Kahn, a nationally-recognized fitness, Pilates and dance instructor who developed the program. "It begins with a simple march and incorporates more moves to increase energy expenditure."

But whether you're hitting up a Curves program, mastering a Zumba class with girlfriends, or feeling saucy with some pole dancing training, getting a little dance in your workout is always a pro. And here's why:

1. It's Good for Your Bone and Heart Health

"You're in a weight-bearing position, so the risk for osteoporosis become less greater," says Kahn. "You get the cardiovascular benefits of moving, while enhancing the heart and lungs." Since you're upright while dancing, the heart is a-pumpin' and the blood is a-flowin'. Check and check.

2. It Ups Your Mental Functionin

Let's compare it to other general fitness classes. "In many strength classes, it's easy to just watch and go. You pick up a weight, do a bicep curl, and that's it," Kahn says. "But when you do a dance, you focus on the task at hand. You forget everything that's going on outside and all you think about is the movement." By memorizing—in short bursts—moves, coordination, and steps, you're actually saving your memory and helping prevent later brain diseases.

3. It Fights the Biggest Problem

"Sitting is the new smoking," says Kahn. And science agrees. In January 2015, researchers compiled data from 47 different studies and found that sedentary behavior increases your chances of developing a disease or a condition that can kill you prematurely. And if you're dancing, you're definitely not sitting, so getting the body moving with the rhythm means you're getting all the benefits of the total-body workout.

4. It'll Expand Your Social Circle

"There's an empowerment feeling to dance that's just so incredible," says Kahn. "It enhances social skills and improves self-confidence." Whether it's in an organized class or a not-so-organized club dance floor, busting out a move immediately helps to up your confidence and increase your social circle.

5. There's One for Everyone

"We do swing, hip-hop, ballroom, jazz, funk, disco, and so many others," Kahn notes. Think you can't? Really, you can. "I tell people: If you can move, you can dance," she adds. "Anybody can dance."

Read the article at Rodale Wellness.

 

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