8 Surprising Health Benefits of Dancing

When we think about dancing, we typically think in terms of a night out with friends or a significant other, tearing up the dance floor to the hottest music. Dancing may even conjure up images of highly-skilled ballroom dancers with sequin gowns, tuxedos and fancy shoes. You may even envision the celebrities on shows like Dancing with the Stars, who go through weeks of rigorous training with professionals to flaunt their stuff on national TV. And while dancing may seem like all fun and glam, there are also many health benefits to getting out and shaking your groove thing. Researchers have found that dancing can help with flexibility, losing weight and even reducing stress.

Check out other surprising benefits of dance you may not have known about:

Memory enhancement. According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may not only help enhance your memory, but also prevent dementia as you age. Researchers have also found that aerobic activity can reverse volume loss in the area of the brain that controls memory. This area naturally becomes smaller as we get older which can lead to trouble remembering.

Increased flexibility. All those moves that ballet dancers do that you can do as well when you take certain types of dance classes not only look great, but also help increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. By doing stretches similar to ballet movements at home you can help prevent or ease joint pain and soreness after your exercise.

Stress reducer. There's nothing like music and dancing to divert your attention from the pressure and stress that life can pile on. According to a study published by the Journal of Applied Gerontology, dancing with a partner to music can decrease stress.

Depression. Dancing can also provide an emotional boost. Studies have shown that people with depression show fewer symptoms and feel more enthused and energized when they participate in upbeat group dance classes.

Heart health. If you're at risk for cardiovascular disease - start dancing. More research has shown that people with heart failure who started waltzing not only improved their heart health and breathing, but they also saw overall improvement in their quality of life. Additionally, these improvements were significantly greater than those with heart failure who cycled, or walked on a treadmill.

Weight loss. If you need to lose weight, it's also been proven that aerobic dancing is as helpful for losing weight as biking or running.

Balance. As we age, being able to balance well can become an issue. Dancing can help with that. According to a study in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, tango dancing can help to improve balance in older adults. Because dancing requires fast movement and good posture, it will help you to stabilize and get better control over your body

Energy level. Dancing can also help with low energy. Research shows that a weekly dance program can help improve physical performance and increase energy levels.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas offers dance and exercise classes for all ages and skill levels. Visit our site or contact us to learn more about how you can incorporate dance into your life for better health. Want more tips?


Information source: 9 Health Benefits of Dance


Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas