We have written many times about how dancing in your kitchen is a great form of exercise. Getting extra movement into your day can lengthen your life. But while we write it, some people still think dancing doesn’t count as real exercise unless it’s done in a gym. New research has found that dancing aids many aspects of health, including weight.
A review of 10 studies looked at how dancing impacted the bodies of people who were overweight or obese. The study found that dancing improved body mass, BMI, waist circumference, fat percentage and fat mass.
The researchers said that “For its high efficiency and greater sense of enjoyment, dance can be a beneficial exercise intervention for fat loss.”
It’s nice when a study confirms common sense. We know that dancing is a good form of exercise. But now we have the proof to back it up. Paige Verity Davis, a personal trainer and founder of The Fun Fitness Coach, said, “This study basically confirms what we already know – dancing is fabulous for weight management, and improvements in BMI, waist circumference and fat mass are to be expected… the dynamic nature of dance means it engages various muscle groups, promoting lean muscle development.”
Ms. Davis also pointed out that dancing isn’t like most forms of exercise. It’s fun. It can be a social activity. Unlike a workout routine, people don’t quit dancing because it’s enjoyable.
Fitness coach Adam Harris said dancing combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training and flexibility. It’s a mix of multiple workouts into one. “The dynamic and rhythmical movements involved in dance cause the heart rate to become elevated, promoting calorie expenditure in the body and aiding in fat loss,” he said. “What’s more, the continuous movement during dance sessions enhances your cardiovascular fitness, promoting calorie burning even after the dance session finishes.”
You should find a style you like to get the most out of dancing. You should warm up, cool down and stay hydrated to avoid injury. And, if you don’t dance often, you should start off small with short dance periods and get into longer dance sessions, or even take a dance class!
Dance classes for adults have a low dropout rate. We all know how easy it is to stop going to the gym. But folks taking classes for Zumba, cheerleading, dance video games, creative dance and more tended to stick with it in the studies the researchers looked at.
In addition to helping manage weight, dancing can aid many aspects of health. It can help blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, cognition and mental health. It’s one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise. And it’s also highly effective. So get up and get grooving. You’ll have fun and boost your health!