There are some folks out there who would say that in order to get the most out of your workout, you need to spend an hour dripping sweat and working yourself to exhaustion. But that’s not true, and dancing is the perfect example of why. There are countless physical and mental benefits you can get from a dance workout class, or even just jamming out at home by yourself. And while you may be dripping and beat by the end, it’s not a requirement to get the health-promoting and rejuvenating perks. Here are four of them.
Increased Self Confidence
Dancing like nobody’s watching (or with no one watching, if you’d prefer) can do wonders for your mood and self-esteem. If you have never considered yourself athletic or coordinated, feeling the power of your own body as you let it move to the music can help you realize that you’re capable of more than you thought. Dancing is also incredibly freeing, offering a chance to step outside the rigidity of your routines and your to-dos to reveal the strong, confident person within.
Dance is one of the best workout methods for people with osteopenia or osteoporosis or folks who are trying to strengthen their bones. That’s because it is a weight-bearing activity, so each step and hop strengthens your bones to help protect against fractures. Dancing is also a great way to improve your balance and flexibility, building up the muscles around your joints to help better support your bones and lower your risk of falls.
Long, Lean Muscles
There’s a reason ballerinas are lean, lithe and incredibly strong: Dancing gets them that way. Consistently moving your body weight, as opposed to working with dumbbells or machines, combined with repetitive movements like shaking your hips, pumping your arms, or lifting your legs, tone the muscles without adding bulk. Likewise, moving your entire body instead of just one muscle or muscle group at a time keeps muscles long, lean and balanced. That’s especially key as you age, because having ample lean muscle mass is critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Freedom from Stress
When you’re dancing, especially if you’re learning or following along to a routine (like in one of Power For Life Fitness’s Zumba classes), it requires your total concentration and attention. It’s impossible to think about the things that are causing you stress when you’re focusing on which foot and which hand goes where—and this brief respite that dancing provides can help reduce your feelings of stress and put you in a better headspace from which to move forward with your day. Plus, it’s fun! Doing things you enjoy on a regular basis will improve your ability to cope with stress and deal with your responsibilities.
To get started today, throw on some beats and spend as much time as you have dancing on your own or with your family. Don’t forget to snap a quick picture of you moving and grooving this week to fulfill your #SeptemberSelfCareChallenge (remembering to tag @powerforlifefitness when you post). Or check out one of P4LF’s in-person or virtual Zumba classes—contact your property manager for your building’s schedule.