Dancing seems to be everywhere in the media today, from TV reality shows, to movies and even on social media. There’s good reason, too! Dance is not only a fun option for staying in shape (at any age), but it has some surprising additional benefits…
1. Did you know that dancing improves learning & memory?
Yep, dancing and learning dances positively engages the brain (unlike running on a treadmill) AND encourages ‘neural plasticity’. What’s that? It’s the brain’s ability to handle new situations with healthier and more adaptable neurons … throughout life. This means better cognitive function and maintaining memory function as you age (who doesn’t want that?). A study at Stanford showed that is also one of the few forms of physical activity that effectively protect against dementia.
2. Probably the most obvious benefit of dancing is getting fit.
While there are people who really enjoy the torture of the gym, you may not be one of them and you’d love a fun way to get in shape, something you enjoy, where dropping weight, improved balance and better posture are side bonuses!
Dance not improves blood and lymph flow, increases muscle tone and flexibility, and reduces body stiffness, but it also improves posture which improves organ function, digestion and even your mood.
3. Yep! Dance improves mood.
How does that work? Studies have shown that hormones (endorphins) are released when you exercise, which make you feel good. But dance does more than most forms of exercise, it also improves posture, which makes a huge difference in how you see yourself, improving your self image. Bending over cell phones and computers has created a less confident society that is more likely to text than meet!! Even if your not someone that is concerned about appearing more attractive and confident, you’ll be fascinated to note that science has directly linked better posture with improved mood and a more positive outlook.
4. Dance also reduces stress.
Once again, those scientists have shown that most forms of exercise help reduce stress hormones in the body. But again, dance takes things one step further than ‘most’ forms of exercise. While running, and cycling are great, dance has the added benefit of being vehicle for creativity and emotional expression. So in addition to stress reduction, it is also known to be an effective depression reducer.
5. It’s fun!
And, although it was briefly mentioned at the beginning, it’s time we circle back to one of the most overlooked and, potentially, most important reasons for dancing — it’s fun!
Life can be serious and challenging and finding a way to step out and have something fun that you do for you is essential to your well being. Dance is an opportunity to find some fun, learn not to take yourself too seriously, meet people, learn a new skill and relax… All in a supportive environment.
Interested in giving dance a try? We’d love to help you with that! Heart & Sole dance is on a mission have everyone reap the awesome rewards of dance! Do you have 25 minutes? Come in for a free private dance lesson! You choose the dance! Heartsoledance.com 708-5-DANCES (708-532-6237)
About the Author
Maren, is a national level Ballroom, Swing and Country instructor, competitor and judge. After 10 years of traveling extensively across the country earning top placements and an exceptional reputation, she ‘retired’ in 2008, to allow her to develop and grow the local dance community. Her passion for teaching and her desire to share her love of dance led her to open her own studio in Tinley Park, IL, start the Illinois Ballroom Teacher College, and bring the internationally acclaimed program Dancing Classrooms to the Chicago area.