This fun movement can be a great approach to help your heart and stay in shape.
Every Monday night, a large number of Americans hunker down on their couches to watch their favorite celebrities break a sweat on Dancing With The Stars. And aside from offering entertainment, every one of those fox trots and sambas add up to some genuine cardio. The proof is in the weight loss. Each season, we’ve seen some remarkably healthy transformations, from Kirstie Alley to Kelly Osbourne.
While the hours of intense training week after week most likely have something to do with the number of pounds shed, in all actuality is that dancing actually has some unique benefits that can’t be achieved with other types of exercise.
“Dance, in my opinion, is one of the best approaches to get in shape as you’re working multiple muscle groups all at the same time that in turn keeps your body constantly challenged,” says fitness expert Tracey Mallett, creator of “The Booty Barre” DVD series and the new “FuseDance Cardio Lean” and “FuseDance Cardio Melt,” which will be released next month. “Also, in dance-based classes we choreograph the activities to the actual beat of the music, which I’ve found helps to push you a little harder.”
So this week we challenge you to channel your favorite DWTS star and bust a move yourself — even if it’s just in the comfort of your own living room. For motivation, we gathered up eight reasons why dance does a body good.
“If exercise is not an enjoyable experience, we’re not going to do it,” Comana says. And the bottom line is that dancing is, plain and simple, fun in the way a monotonous treadmill run probably never will be. Plus, busting a move can trigger the release of feel good hormones like endorphins and serotonin. “Individuals think, ‘I’m not exercising, I’m dancing,'” he says. “But at the end of the day, you’re moving and you’re burning calories. It’s just as good as a cardio class.”
And, as Mallet clarifies, not only will you be more likely to stick with a fitness routine if it’s fun, but you’ll also need to do it for longer.
“This will push you to move for a longer period of time than typical exercise, purely because it’s a lot of fun and not the dreaded word ‘exercise,'” she told The Huffington Post. “Dance inspires individuals to get in shape with something they love to do, which doesn’t feel like dreaded exercise or a bad chore, but fun and exhilarating.
As much as we all love to dance when there’s nobody watching, there’s something irresistible about dancing with other people, whether it’s with a partner or a class-full of fellow booty shakers.
“Group fitness is seeing a surge in popularity because of Zumba,” Comana says. And working out in a class can help to up the difficulty level and increase responsibility.
Anyone Can Do It
“The pleasant thing about dance is that it’s inclusive,” Comana says. “Exercise is not inclusive, a few individuals feel like they don’t have the skill set and they’re embarrassed … I think anybody can just start to dance and enjoy the experience.”
Nervous about dancing in front of individuals? Start out in your own living room, moving to a song you just can’t resist.
“There is a dancer in all of us,” Mallett says, “and when we move our body to the music we normally smile and want to keep moving.”
And don’t let two left feet keep you from joining in on the fun.
“Don’t get intimidated because you feel like you’re not a good dancer. Who cares?” Mallett says. “It’s about you moving your body in your way not like the rest of the people in the class. Zone out and focus on how great you feel and that no one is judging your capacities.”