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Dance Your Way to Better Health and Fitness

Updated on November 8, 2012

Dancing as Exercise

Okay guys and gals--if Kirstie Alley can tackle Dancing with the Stars , you and I can surely tackle dancing in our homes. Dancing is in the blood; we humans seem to be hard-wired for it. Even if you don't jump out of your seat when a spirited melody come across the air waves, I bet you tap your fingers or toes to the beat.

That's all well and good, but if you want to improve your health, including losing some extra weight, get out of that seat and take to the floor. Dancing is good for what ails you, both spiritually and physically.

Intense aerobic dancing burns as many calories as does jogging--and wouldn't you rather boogie to a raucous tune than jog down the street? Your heart and lungs will be just as happy to be put through their paces while you dance as when you put on that running suit for a jog down the road, dodging cell-phone wielding automobile drivers and the neighbor's dog.

Dancing is enjoyed throughout the age spectrum.
Dancing is enjoyed throughout the age spectrum. | Source
Dancing can be a private or social experience.
Dancing can be a private or social experience. | Source
Source

Count Down the Calories

There are ga-zillions of dance and dance-type videos and electronic systems that offer dance moves as exercise. There must be something to it! Just about every appetite and music taste is represented across the spectrum, as are different abilities and interests.

The Wii Get Fit program is so popular among all age groups that the American Heart Association includes a fitness program incorporating it.

Or skip the videos and electronic doo-dads and just put on some inspirational music for yourself. Dance in the living room, kitchen or bedroom. Put some pep in your step walking the aisles of the grocery store or down the sidewalk. Get up during commercials while watching T.V. and do some moves.

Get a friend or two and join a dance class. In your community, or one nearby, you are likely to find ballroom dancing classes, line dancing, swing, belly, Latin or even pole dancing. Live a little and try something new, or refresh your memory about something you've learned in the past.

It isn't about talent, it's about getting your body moving. Get your heart rate moving up. Break a sweat.


Calorie Burn Rate for a 150 lb. Person

Activity
15 Minutes
1 hour
Jogging
102
408
Running @ 5 m.p.h.
119
476
Walking briskly
60
238
Modern dance
65
258
Aerobic dancing
94
374
Belly, swing and hula dancing
60
238
Folk, square, line dancing
60
238
Stationary bike
102
408
Jazzercise
85
340

Warmup Exercises

Health Benefits of Dance

We already know that dancing aids in weight loss, but there are more health benefits. Weight-bearing activities such as dancing help to keep bones strong, warding off the brittleness and softness that occurs when osteoporosis in present.

Flexibility and balance are two attributes that dancing helps to promote. These attributes promote stability in walking, something that helps to decrease falls in the senior population.

Dancing is good for your heart and circulatory system. It strengthens the heart muscle and helps to ward off circulation problems that come from a sedentary lifestyle.

Dancing provides stress relief and may aid in staving off memory loss. It can also be a means to socialization. And it certainly leads to fewer frown lines--have you ever seen anyone dancing who isn't smiling?

Comments

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    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      MargaritaEden, I think so many people think of exercise as those old calisthenics routines -- something most of us wouldn't relish. Lots of people enjoy dancing and I think exercise is a lot easier to do when it's something you enjoy.

      Thanks for the read and your comments.

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      I agree dancing is a great way to exercise, very useful hub!

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Denise, I bet you and your siblings had a great time!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      LL-It's been YEARS since I've square danced (try 6th grade gym) but, I've always loved it and remember my parents belonging to a square dance couples club. While they danced the night away my brothers and sister and I 'square danced' at home which always got wild, crazy and out of hand.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Thanks for the hub love. I'll be checking out your Zumba hub--might be a bit too energetic for me. I am a square dance person here.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Loved the hub-but anything that says 'dance' usually catches my eye. I was a former dancer/ballet and had a dance studio once upon a time. I love Zumba and wrote a hub about the benefits of that. Hit UP and interesting.

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      No takers on pole dancing? Not my cup of tea, either.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      Great hub and I thoroughly agree. I like square dancing, line dancing and the tango...pole dancing? I'm with Sally. :)

      voted up/useful

    • L.L. Woodard profile imageAUTHOR

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Thanks for your comments Truckstop Sally. I agree, pole dancing isn't for everyone, but neither is one of my favorite forms of dance--square dancing.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Great hub. I agree -- Dancing is good for what ails you, both spiritually and physically. The music - rhythm, beat . . . is almost addictive. You have so much fun you forget you are exercising. Now pole dancing -- maybe you have gone too far! Ha!

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