Dance Your Way to Fitness!

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Ever wondered why the moment you hear, say, Beyoncé’s latest hit, you automatically start tapping your feet or begin moving to the beat? It is an instinctive response. Research says that we’re wired to sync our body movements to music, and in fact even primitive cultures used rhythmic movements to express themselves. Dance – in essence a form of communication – is also often considered a recreational activity. However, it is all too often overlooked for its positive physical, mental, and social health qualities.

The more time you spend dancing, the more you train your mind to open the feel-good floodgates. With the myriad benefits of dancing outlined below, you cannot help but press the play button and strap on your dancing shoes. Luckily, you do not have to “move like Jagger” to enjoy these advantages. Maybe it’s now time to cut a rug!

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Burn calories. No matter how you slice it, dance is exercise. It improves blood circulation and helps burn calories while also improving your stamina. Depending on the speed and intensity of the dance, it’s estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5-10 calories per minute.

Stay young. Dancing slows the process of ageing and keeps you looking younger. It is also good for your heart and the cardiovascular system, and it increases lung capacity. It has been proven that the muscle exertion and breathing rate of dancers performing in a competition is equivalent to those of cyclists, swimmers, and even an Olympic-level 800-metre runner.

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Get strong bones. For post-menopausal women, there can be a significant drop in estrogen levels, which in turn prevents calcium from being absorbed into the bones. Dance can help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis for women as well as men. It also keeps the joints lubricated which helps stave off arthritis.

Be mentally healthy. Dancing improves memory by forcing you to recollect steps, dance patterns and routines. This is a great mental exercise for your brain. Increasing mental exercise keeps your mind quick, open and alert.

Improve cholesterol and sugar levels. It is necessary to evaluate both good and bad cholesterol levels when determining your health. Dancing helps in lipid control. It raises your HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol). Dancing is also wonderful for diabetics as it helps regulate blood sugar.

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Develop balance. By dancing, you can master the ability to balance yourself in a number of positions. Balancing in one position may be easy, but managing multiple positions is quitedifficult. It protects the core, too. Dancing also helps in coordination and strengthens reflexes. It is a great way to keep your central nervous system and peripheral nervous system in good shape, as it improves the mind/body connection.

Engage socially. Dancing is entertaining and a great form of recreation too. It provides an opportunity to make new friends while also creating a social life. Friends help us grow, make us laugh, and provide support when required.

Break cultural barriers. Dancing is culturally diverse. People from all over the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor and shake a leg. Cultural interaction helps improve your health by sharing your spirit!

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Be happy. Try dancing to recover and heal fromstress and depression. It elevates your mood by raising endorphin levels, and indirectly boosts your self-confidence and self-discipline. It also creates harmony between your mind and body, improving your sense of well-being.

Groom well. Not only is dancing fun and romantic, but also helps promote good grooming. This is because everybody wants to look their best while dancing.   – Sumana