Dance Your Way To Fitness

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Do you think you can dance? If you’re not sure, why not give it a try? Dancing is an exciting and social way to work out your body. It works your heart and helps build strong bones and muscles. And because it’s so much fun, you’ll forget you are exercising!

Health Benefits
Dancing combines the benefits of aerobics plus weight-bearing exercise. It has many physical and mental health benefits, including:

  • Better heart health
  • Stronger muscles
  • Better balance and coordination
  • Stronger bones
  • Lower risk of dementia
  • Improved memory
  • Reduced stress
  • More energy
  • Improved mood

Types of Dance

  • Salsa
  • Ballroom
  • Tap
  • Swing
  • Hip-Hop
  • Line Dancing
  • Tango
  • Belly Dancing

Other Ways to Dance
If traditional dance doesn’t appeal to you, there are other ways to get moving. Health clubs and fitness centers offer dance workout classes, such as Zumba. These classes mix moves from many styles of dance into a fun program for people of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels.

Dance video games and DVDs are also a way to get dancing in the privacy of your own home. You can buy, rent, or borrow them.

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Comparing Dancing to Other Exercise
The workout you get from dance depends on the type of dancing you do and how long you do it. For example, ballroom dancing will give you a moderate workout – about the same level of exercise you’d get from walking briskly or doing water aerobics. Most types of ballroom dancing burns about 260 calories in an hour.

More intense types of dance, such as salsa or aerobic dancing, will give you a vigorous workout similar to jogging or swimming laps. You can burn up to 500 calories an hour with these types of dance.

Getting Started
Look for classes at local gyms or community centers. Don’t worry if you don’t have a partner. Many classes will find you a partner if you don’t have one and most classes don’t require one. If you’re new to dance or have been inactive, start with a beginner class to reduce your risk for injury. As you build your skill and fitness, try more advanced classes. When starting a new class, be patient. It takes time to learn to move your body and feet together with the music.

For more fun, invite friends to join you. Having your friends will motivate you to be your best!

By Rochelle Marapao