Dancing is a great way to have fun and receive numerous health benefits at the same time. While some types of exercise are good mental stimulators and others are effective muscle toners, dancing is unique because it is beneficial to every area of health. Dancing is a good way to exercise because it benefits the physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of health.
Physical Benefits of Dance
The American Council on Exercise recommends dancing for an aerobic workout, as it provides cardiovascular conditioning which lowers blood pressure, the risk of heart disease, and helps maintain normal body weight. Since dance is also a weight bearing activity, it improves bone density along with muscle strength and coordination. Other benefits include better balance, stamina and flexibility.
Another benefit of dancing is it involves using muscle groups and movements that are not heavily used on a daily basis, such as dancing sideways and backwards.
Mental, Emotional and Social Benefits of Dance
In addition to exercising your body, dance can also exercise your mind which can help make it sharper. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that frequent dancers have a lower incidence of dementia (memory loss) compared to people who rarely dance.
Researchers hypothesize the mental benefit of dance may be due to several factors. The process of sequencing, memorizing steps, and timing body movement to music involves mental activity. Another factor is the increased blood circulation to the brain. Finally, the social and emotional aspects of dancing may reduce stress, depression and loneliness.
Anti-aging Benefits of Dance
Research from Queen’s University in Belfast shows dance can counteract some of the natural, physical and mental deterioration associated with aging. Social dancing promotes a continued engagement in life which helps people live longer and healthier lives. It also reduces social isolation and even aches and pains frequently experienced in old age.
To get involved, check out Arthur Murray Dance Center or other dance studio near you.