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Reasons to Dance

Ready to enjoy the health benefits of getting your groove on?

happy couple dancing

Rumba or fox trot? Ballet or ballroom? Salsa or swing? Whatever your preference, if you enjoy dancing, you’ll like what you’re about to hear.

Just like biking or swimming, dancing is an aerobic activity. Any aerobic activity like dancing strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system. It helps you lose weight and reduce depression. It also lowers your risk for serious health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, it can just be plain fun!

Here are more reasons to get your groove on. Dancing can:

  • Strengthen your bones. Dancing is weight bearing and high-impact, both of which help keep bones strong.
  • Build endurance. Dancing increases your heart rate and breathing. Over time, dancing can help build your endurance or stamina.
  • Burn calories. Someone who weighs about 150 pounds can burn 165 calories with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity dancing, or 330 calories after one hour.
  • Be tailored to you. Depending on your fitness level, you can get your groove on with light, moderate or vigorous intensity.
  • Be done in small chunks. Do you have 10 minutes to spare? Put on your shoes, turn on the music in your living room and get going!
  • Keep your mind sharp. Dancing in rhythm with music can improve your cognitive function, according to one study.
  • Help your heart. Dancing makes your heart stronger and fitter. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity on most days of the week to get optimal heart-health benefits.
  • Improve mood and reduce stress. Dancing can lower your stress levels and boost your mood.
  • Be done on the cheap. You don’t have to buy dance shoes or spend money on a dance class to start dancing. Just turn on some music and move!
  • Provide social benefits. Dancing usually involves a partner or group and meeting new people. Having social ties is linked to better health, lower stress levels and a positive outlook.

Remember: Note: If you’re pregnant, physically inactive or have a health condition such as arthritis, diabetes or heart disease, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program or increasing your activity level. He or she can tell you what types and amounts of activities are safe for you.

By Lucy M. Casale, Contributing Writer

Sources
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. Accessed: September 30, 2016.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity for a healthy weight. Accessed: September 30, 2016.
Weight-control Information Network. Tips to help you get active. Accessed: September 30, 2016.
The National Institute on Aging. Go4Life. 4 types of exercise. Accessed: September 30, 2016.

Updated September 30, 2016