Dance Your Way to Health

By no means does exercise have to be boring. There are many ways to exercise without it feeling like ‘work’ at all. The key is finding a physical activity that you enjoy doing, and for many, dancing is at or near the top of the list.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, along with cardiovascular health benefits and a fun way to lose weight, dancing regularly can lead to improved balance, heightened memory and clearer thinking (especially if you practice often to perfect your moves), relief from stress and greater overall health.

Dancing can also greatly improve your range of motion, coordination and spatial awareness. Additionally, it often works many muscle groups at once. Depending on the type of dance that you choose, movements can be either fast-paced, or slow and gliding, or a combination of these. All styles have their own specific health benefits, both physical and mental.

If you choose to join a dance class or participate in group dancing activities, this can also have the added benefit of a great social outlet. Dancing is a great way to meet people and spark friendships, and can certainly shake you out of your everyday routine if you wish to liven things up a little.

When choosing a dance class, research the options in your area that seem to offer the type of dance that you wish to learn – and there are many to choose from. Look over the website of the class in question, or give the instructor a call – many organizations allow you to either sit in on a class before you join, or even take your first class for free to see if you enjoy it.

If you are unsure where to start, look for a class that offers an introduction to many different styles. If you find one that you really love in the mix, you will know what to concentrate on in the future.

You may also choose to purchase a DVD in dance instruction, a dance/fitness combo or even a movement-centric video game, if you would rather learn from home. In fact, there are a lot of mini training videos available on Internet.  Just search for ‘learn to dance’ and find something that appeals to you.

danceOf course, you don’t need any formal instruction just to dance. Clear a space in your living room (or other room large enough for you to move around comfortably), throw on your favorite music, and just start moving!

-The Alternative Daily

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