Dance fitness has been so popular over the last decade that, nowadays, it is hard to find a fitness studio or gym which doesn’t hold dance fitness sessions. These sessions are so much fun that you get the feeling of a dance party rather than a workout. Dance can be the perfect beginning step to a workout regime for a newbie. It is easier than most of the heavy workouts and there is a high probability that you will stick to it. When was the last time you grooved to some beats and simultaneously lost a good number of calories? If you’ve been resisting the urge to shake your leg, here are six benefits of dance fitness that would motivate you to add a little rhythm to your fitness routine.
1. Dance can relieve Stress
Six years ago, I attended a trial Zumba session for the first time. When I reached the studio, I was surprised by the sheer number of people in the class. It was a full house. The playlist was a mix of Latin, English and Bollywood dance tunes. The warm up, gradual increase in beats and moves, and the final cool down were all so beautifully crafted. The trainer’s energy was infectious and the class enthusiasm was very high. After this one-hour session, I felt relaxed, energized and stress-free. I liked it so much that I enrolled for regular Zumba classes. Unlike strength workouts, this was easier and the bonus was the feel good factor. Dance workouts help reduce stress and this is one of the driving factors why dance fitness runs a full house compared to other group workouts. If you want to reduce stress, you must give dance a try and reap the benefits of dance fitness.
2. Dancing can make you happy
Dance fitness is a powerful booster for your mental health. People instantly feel happier when they dance. Just like Friday nights known for parties and music, dance workouts are healthy alternatives loaded with feel-good endorphins. Grooving to music has been known for ages to make one carefree. And your brain releases dopamine, making you immensely happy. Dance workouts are great to improve your mood any time of the day. This is one of the major benefits of dance fitness.
3. Dancing is a great means of socializing
When I first joined a Zumba class in 2016, I made many buddies. We would chat, giggle and dance. The class comprised of people of various age groups – students, working professionals, homemakers and some retirees too. Weight loss and fitness were not the only driving objectives and many were there for social interaction as well. The same applies even today. Dance workout classes are great to meet new people from various walks of life. If you are trying to boost your social life, join a dance class and attend it regularly.
4. Dancing is great cardio
Dance fitness is a high-intensity cardio workout. A typical dance workout for 60 mins can help you burn up to 1000 calories. If you find walking, jogging or cycling a little boring, try dance for your cardiovascular health. You will not only keep your heart healthy but also feel like including dance in your fitness routine.
5. Dancing builds strength and balance
Dance is an effective full-body workout. You use all of your major muscle groups for various steps and positions. Dance fitness trainers include squats, jumps, runs, kicks, and stretches etc as dance steps. I have never squatted in any gym workout as many times I have in my dance sessions. If you dread burpees, planks or push-ups, boost your body with the benefits of dance fitness. Dance is great for conditioning, strengthening and toning your body. It also improves your overall balance and stability when you do it regularly.
6. Dancing improves coordination in your body
What I loved the most in my Zumba classes is the fact that my arms and legs were always moving in different directions. Dance beats are sequenced in a manner where your body adopts a good deal of coordination. Just like yoga, dance practice improves your body and mind coordination and helps you feel more comfortable moving your body.
Dance workouts are effective in flexing your mental muscles too. Remembering lyrics and beats, learning step sequences are good exercises for your brain. Going to a gym seems more fun when you have a dance session to look forward to. However, remember to follow the instructions laid out by your trainer if you are new to dance workout. In case of any injuries or medical conditions, let your trainer be aware of them. For pre-existing medical conditions, you might need to consult your doctor before you take up a dance workout routine. Beginners are often advised not to squat too low or jump too high. Like any form of workout, dance also requires a slow pre-workout warm up and a good cool down post workout in order to normalize your heart rate. It is excellent exercise without any need for equipment or weights. All you need is a good pair of dancing or running shoes and you are good for going.
With regular dancing, you can feel lighter, sleep better, and also build more flexibility and strength in your body. Dance is great for weight loss too, due to the sheer number of calories that it helps to burn. There is no age bar to enjoy the benefits of dance fitness. Dance is for all age groups – from toddlers to retirees. For a happier body and mind, you should include dance fitness at least once in your fitness schedule.
(The author is a fitness enthusiast who is passionate about swimming, cycling,
yoga, boxing and a host of other forms of fitness. )