When was the last time you danced like no one was watching? If it’s been a while, this article might just put you in the mood to put your dancing shoes on. Inspired by our friend Ron Black and the San Juan Dance Club in Montrose, dancing offers some amazing health benefits and can be a great supplement to working out.
If the idea of running or cycling makes your knees ache, dancing is a gentler form of cardio worth trying. Many types of dance are low-impact, which is great news for your joints. Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), dancing doesn’t just improve components of overall fitness including cardiovascular endurance and body composition , but can also help your muscular endurance. Additionally, dancing helps with flexibility, balance, agility, coordination, power, reactivity and speed.
Dancing isn’t just beneficial to your physical health, but to your mental health as well. Feelings of loneliness can be diminished just by attending a dance class near you. As you take more classes and meet new people at more events, you’ll grow closer to those in your community who share the same love of movement and build lifelong friendships. If you’re hesitant or timid about attending, just know that everyone is welcoming to newcomers especially at the San Juan Dance Club – even if you think you have two left feet.
While it’s not as simple as dancing your way to happiness, dancing can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety for some people. In this meta-analysis of 23 trials, researchers assessed the effectiveness of dance movement therapy (DMT) and the use of dance as a therapeutic treatment of health-related psychological problems. The results found that, “DMT and dance are effective for increasing quality of life and decreasing clinical symptoms such as depression and anxiety.”
As we age, our cognitive abilities change. Researchers have long wondered how to protect our brains from aging, and one study in particular suggests that dancing can reduce deterioration in the brain. In a study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, adults who participated in dance classes three times a week had less wear in their brains than the other groups.
This all makes perfect sense, especially when you think about how much memory and learning is involved in mastering new steps and routines.
Moving, laughing, and spending time with friends area all contributors to a healthy lifestyle that dancing provides. Get your dancing shoes, and get ready to two-step your way to better health,