We live in an increasingly health-conscious time. With improved medical technologies, the general population is living longer than ever before; but we don’t just want to live, we want to THRIVE.
We may know that eating well and avoiding certain behaviours can bring huge benefits. In addition, exercise is a very important part of overall health, no matter what kind it is. However, there are plenty of reasons why dance specifically is really good for you:
THE FUN FACTOR
Imagine yourself in this scenario. You are overstressed and overworked. You sit for a large portion of the day and your sleep is suffering. You have to consume copious quantities of caffeine just to make it to lunch time, when you inevitably end up eating a meal (that was chosen more for comfort and ease than nourishment) at your desk. This may actually even be your life right now, and I’m sure we’ve all been there. You know that exercise is going to help you with a lot of the problems your lifestyle is causing you, but here’s the catch: the thought of running up and down a concrete road or spending another hour in the gym causes you just as much stress as the rest of your life. Here is where dance classes can be a superior choice.
You show up to the class, give it your all, and go; no spending time doing your own workout programming. You can do an adult dance class at a local gym, or get a couple friends together and hire a dance coach to run a Beyonce themed workshop for you. The social aspect really helps you to push yourself and get as much out of the session as you can, but also to have fun. Finding something you enjoy will allow you to stick to it for longer, which is what will bring results.
MENTAL HEALTH PROTECTION
In addition to its effects on stress, which is a trigger for many mental health problems, many studies are beginning to show that dancing can actually improve mental functions and even positively affect brain biochemistry. Studies on elderly patients with a history of falling were able to demonstrate improved balance and coordination after 10 weeks of taking adult dance lessons (the tango, compared to a control group who took up walking as exercise).
Other studies looking at different forms of dance classes have shown positive impacts on patients with Parkinsons, on motor skills, verbal fluency, word recall, and in one study even increased white brain matter in elderly subjects. Dance is now also a widely accepted form of therapy for a host of different mental issues.
FULL BODY BENEFITS
Certain forms of exercise are considered ‘functional’, which means they develop real world bodily functions. Depending on the type of dance you do, you will be developing the following: muscle tone and strength, improved bone density, improved cardiovascular and respiratory system condition, improved motor skills and fitness, improved balance, better coordination, improved memory and speed, and even more besides.
This is truly a full body workout, with benefits that are truly holistic. Also, don’t forget the importance of the feel good hormones that exercise can release. Endorphins, released by the brain during exercise and flooding your system, will have you leaving your workout feeling like you’re on cloud nine.
Regardless of why you want to start going to a dance class, you will be doing something that will benefit you, body and mind. We hope that you find one you enjoy and start experiencing these benefits soon!