Dance not only instills grace, but it also helps you age gracefully. According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. Science reveals that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. The hippocampus naturally shrinks during late adulthood, which often leads to impaired memory and sometimes dementia.
Dance naturally teaches flexibility which is required for many of the moves. Most dance classes will also incorporate a warm-up session which tend to also consist of a lot of stretching.
By increasing your flexibility you will not only increase your athletic performance, but also avoid a range of injuries. For those interested in building muscle at the gym, increased flexibility can lead to improved range of motion through the exercises and thus fuller-looking muscles.
If you’re feeling tense or stressed out, you might want to grab a partner, turn up the music, and tango! In a controlled study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance and musical accompaniment can help bring about stress relief.
Dancing really does lift your spirits, according to a study in that tested the effects of dancing on people with depression. Patients who participated in an upbeat group dance showed the fewest depression symptoms and the most vitality. Got the blues? Grab a friend and go out dancing tonight.
Help Your Heart
Dance is a great activity for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. People with heart failure who took up waltzing improved their heart health, breathing, and quality of life significantly compared to those who biked or walked on a treadmill for exercise, noted an Italian study.
If you’re looking for a way to lose weight that’s fun and that you’re likely to actually stick to, then dance is a fantastic option. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that an exercise program of aerobic dance training is just as helpful for losing weight and increasing aerobic power as cycling and jogging.
Dance on the other hand is something that’s fun, that’s social and that you’ll actually enjoy doing. You’ll go to dance classes for the sake of dancing itself, and thus you’ll have introduced regular exercise into your weekly schedule. This will result in weight loss on its own as you burn calories in every class, but it will also increase your energy and help you to build up some resistance against injury. You’ll become generally fitter, and then if you choose to do additional exercise on top of your dance classes you’ll find that it is much more successful and that you lose weight at a much faster and steadier rate.
This is why so many people will struggle for months with weight loss programs, only to then start a dance class and quickly begin to develop a more toned and athletic physique.
Another way that dance can reduce injuries is by improving balance. Many dance moves involve balancing on one or both feet, going onto the sole of your foot, or otherwise holding positions that require a lot of balance. By practicing these moves you will build up strength in your smaller supporting muscles, as well as throughout your core and as such you’ll get better at maintaining your balance at all times.
Can’t seem to find your get-up-and-go? Taking a dance class might help. Research published in The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program could improve physical performance and increase energy levels among adults.
A dance class is the perfect setting to make new friends and branch out socially. Maintaining positive relationships may just rank up there with healthy eating and exercise. Being socially engaged leads to increased happiness, reduced stress, and a stronger immune system.