If you find your regular treadmill or elliptical routine monotonous, then you may find dance to be just your answer to an exciting, new cardio routine! Not only is dance fun and ever changing, but there are also great benefits to the activity. Whether you are a follower of the Zumba trend or admire the sleek physiques of Ballroom dancers, you are bound to find a dance routine that fits you.
Endurance and Cardio: The great thing about dance is that there is never a moment when you are standing still. Dance is about constant movement over a period of time, which is great for improving your overall endurance level. Maintaining an increased heart rate for a period of time is excellent for the strength and fitness of your heart.
Strength: Often, the cardio component is the most praised benefit of dance, however there are also many strength-training components to the activity as well. With all of the many pivots dips and constant weight bearing on your legs and hips, you are bound to see a difference in your strength level after beginning a regular dancing routine.
Weight Loss: Both of these elements of endurance and strength training can assist in the overall goal of weight loss. Dance until you break a sweat and then keep moving! You will be sure to shred some of your excess pounds.
Flexibility: To bend and twist the way you need to for certain dance moves, it should be no surprise that flexibility is a great benefit of dancing. Whether stretching is required for formal dance training or needed after a long night on the dance floor, it is integral to the act of dancing, as range of motion is needed. In previous articles, we have discussed the importance of keeping your muscles and joints in good condition and increased flexibility is a great way to do this.
Prevent Memory Loss: To add to the mental health benefits, there have been studies conducted to support the idea that aerobic exercises, such as dance, help to plump up the volume in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain related to memory and dementia as we age.
Socialize: Unless you are the type who only dances alone in your room in front of the mirror, dancing is usually a group activity. Whether you have one designated partner or you partake in a group class, the social aspect of dancing together add to this social aspect, making the exercise even more fun.
Feel Good!: An additional benefit of dance is one that can be simply described as general sensation of feeling great. This could be due to the endorphins that are released while you dance, which are the hormones that give you the “happy” or “high” feeling after exercise.
Reduce stress: Similarly, these hormones released during dance can help eliminate stress that is already built up, adding to this feel-good benefit for your mental health.
There are a variety of dance exercise routines for you to choose from. If you are interested in learning a new style of dance, you may want to select a cultural dance class like salsa, West African or take part in the recent Zumba craze. If you are more of the shy type, you can test these kinds of dance out at home with DVDs and home video games. If you are looking to increases your home video repertoire, there is an assortment of videos offered from BeachBody.com that will suit your taste.
Turbo Jam Live!: If you want a taste of fast paced routine, you may want to try Turbo Jam Live! You will be sure to sweat quickly and maintain a heightened heart rate for the duration of the video.
Shaun T.: Shaun T. is one famous Beach Body instructors who will also lead you in high intensity routines like that in his “Rockin’ Body” and “Shaun T.’s Dance Party” series. Shaun T is also known for his Hip Hop dance series like “Hip Hop Abs” and the newer “Hip Hop Abs Ultimate.” Even if you are simply looking to increase your range of dance club moves, Shaun T’s series will have you seeing results on the dance floor and on the scale.
Brazil Butt Lift: If you are looking for that cultural dance experience, all while trying to tone that booty, then you will love this series and its sequel, “Brazil Butt Lift Deluxe.” You will feel sore in areas that you’ve never felt before.
Yoga Booty Ballet: To stay toned and trim, this series will work your booty and core, to give you that effortlessly tight physique.
Remember, if you have pre-existing health concerns, such as heart concerns or issues with your muscles and joints, you will want to consult with a physician to make sure that dance is the appropriate form of exercise for you. Even if you are restricted from deep bending or twisting, you are bound to find a form of dance that is appropriate for your fitness level and style. With the diversity of dance music and technique, you may just find a new form of exercise that you can stick with long enough to see some of these great results.