05 Aug Top 4 reasons why you should dance your way to better health
We’ve all been there. Whether it was as a five year old in a ballet hall, an awkward pre-teen at a school gym dance, or 2am on a dance floor at your local dive, we’ve all busted a groove at one point.
But did you know that dancing could be good for your health?
We asked Accredited Exercise Physiologist Carly Ryan to give us the step-up on why you should add dancing to your exercise regime and this is what she told us.
Top 4 reasons why you should dance your way to better health
1. Dancing is a form of physical exercise that has far reaching health benefits
Dancing is an excellent form of physical activity that provides a large range of benefits including:
- Improved cardiovascular health (i.e. heart and lung health)
- Improved muscle tone
- Improved flexibility
- Improved coordination and balance
- Improved muscular strength
- Improved bone health
- Weight management
- Mental health benefits including improved mood, self-esteem etc
Dancing provides these benefits partly as it is an all over body activity that raises your heart rate. It’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and individuals can tailor the activity to their individual fitness levels, needs and goals.
It’s also an enjoyable activity for many people, whether you choose to dance in the comfort of your own living room or prefer the social side of things by participating in lessons. As all types of dancing will provide health and fitness benefits, It is a good idea to consider your individual goals and likes, as this will guide you in determining the style of dancing and appropriate amount of activity to complete.
2. Even social dancing is considered a moderate intensity exercise!
Yep, your Saturday dance floor boogie counts!
“Social dancing would typically fall into the moderate intensity physical activity category”, says Carly Ryan, AEP. “This correlates to an increase in heart rate and breathing rate (also known as a slight ‘huff and puff)’, often to the point where you can talk but do not have enough breath to sing or whistle. As a comparison, vigorous activity is where heart rate and breathing rate significantly increase, and talking becomes more difficult”.
3. Dancing can compliment any existing exercise routine
“Dancing combines cardiovascular, strength, balance and flexibility components within the one activity, so it will compliment all forms of activity and exercise”, explains Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Carly Ryan.
The most important part of an exercise routine is that you complete it regularly and so it is always a good idea to include different forms of movement, from incidental physical activity through the day through to different types of structured exercise. This will ensure a program that meets all your health and fitness needs and is robust and flexible enough to adjust to your lifestyle.
4. Dancing is FUN!
Dancing is often one of the first activities small children start to do alongside walking, and many people would confess to busting to a move in their house at one time or another when a great song comes on the radio. Embrace your inner child, dance like no-one is watching and it won’t even feel like exercise!