Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dancing = Fun + Great Exercise!

Are you getting bored with your traditional workout?  Is going to the gym just too bothersome?  Well then why don’t you get your next great workout at the local dance hall?  Dancing is not only fun to do; it’s great exercise too!

Ballroom dance lesson
Ballroom dance lesson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There’s nothing that gets your heart pumping like dancing.  You don’t have to be good; you just have to move around.  The simple act of moving your arms and legs around is enough to get you a great cardio workout. In fact, some recent studies have shown that ballroom dancing is almost as effective at working your heart as common workouts such as running.  It also doesn’t matter much what kind of dancing you’re doing, whether it’s ballroom, country line dancing, or even belly dancing.  You can even just dance around your living room to the radio (also a great way to work out with the kids!)

Dancing works all the different muscle groups.  Activities like jogging and swimming feature repetitive movements that work the same muscles over and over.  That’s why it’s easy to tell a runner from a swimmer, just by looking at what muscles on their body are developed.  Unless you do the same dance over and over, you’re going to be doing lots of various movements.  This allows you to work all your different muscle groups giving you a great total body workout you’ll be able to see in a mirror.  This is also a great motivation to take classes and try new styles of dance.

Sometimes workouts can be a bit boring, and boredom is actually one of the most common reasons for quitting an exercise program.  With dance, not only do you get to listen to music that is fun and entertaining, but dancing can also have the benefit of being a social event.  If you are there with a group, you can enjoy the conversation and excitement, and you’ll probably completely forget you’re working out!  Try getting a group of friends to go dancing once a week with you.  You can even use the fact that it’s a great workout as a selling point to convince them to join you.  (Just be careful - depending on the venue, you may be encouraged to drink.  Don’t burn off all your calories just to add them back with alcohol.) 

Young couple dancing cha-cha-cha at a junior L...
Young couple dancing cha-cha-cha at a junior Latin dance competition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dancing can also make a great family activity.  You can use it as a time to bond with your spouse or your children.  Remember, they need to get regular exercise too!  If you want to have more special romantic time with your spouse, sign up for some lessons you can take together.  And while you can’t take kids out to a lot of dance clubs, you can get a kids dancing tape, teach them to dance at home, or just play around to the music on the radio.  It’s a great way to exercise while stimulating their creativity.  Some kids also really enjoy dance classes, and a lot of dance studios now offer classes for kids.

So what are you waiting for?  Why not change a boring workout this week into a fun dance event? has a large searchable directory of studios, classes, and dance events so you can find a venue near you and get started!
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