Believe it or not, dance is considered to be a sport. It is hard to argue with that when you go out dancing and all your muscles end up sore the next day. Dancing combines strength and grace and gives you access to countless benefits you need to be aware of. This includes both mental and physical health benefits.
If you ever wondered why you should start dancing or why you feel so great after dancing, here are the benefits you need to know.
In the US, the leading reason for death is heart disease. Cardiovascular health has to be the main priority of every single individual. When you practice dancing, your cardiovascular endurance ends up increased. This is because your heart rate and breathing rate are elevated as you dance. When you keep practicing, the body starts adapting.
If your cardiovascular endurance is increased, your lungs and heart are much more capable to fuel you with the oxygen you need. When your body has the fuel it needs, muscles and mind can perform at higher levels. And for longer.
Building Muscular Strength
As you dance, you support your body weight. Similarly to all bodyweight exercises, muscle growth is triggered by the movements.
The difference between dancing and aerobic exercise is that you have several movements involved in dancing. You thus get a much more comprehensive workout than you initially imagine.
What is particularly interesting is that when you dance, smaller muscles end up strengthened, those muscles most people neglect. This increases your ability to support larger muscles. You thus end up with improved mobility and lower pain. And you will feel a whole lot more confident at the same time.
Improved Coordination And Balance
To dance, you need coordination and balance. As you practice, both of these very important skills are improved.
Remember that improved balance and coordination automatically mean you will be able to perform increasingly complex movements. You start to get more and more confident in whatever you do while injuries are less likely to occur. This is because you automatically reduce the possibility of falling or being in a collision.
Increased Bone Strength
As your muscles are strengthened, the same thing happens with your bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, dancing is an exercise classified as high-impact weight-bearing, which means bone density can be both built and maintained.
The way in which dancing helps is very simple to understand. As you perform your movements, your bones are faced with stress that triggers bone growth and repair. This leads to your bones becoming more resistant and resilient to breaks and fractures. We now from a recent study that dancing increases mass density in bones for women suffering from osteopenia during the post-menopausal phase.
Protection Against Dementia
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study conducted over the duration of 21 years in which it was shown that dancing has huge mental benefits. The study showed that physical activities offer literally no protection against the appearance of dementia but frequent dancing actually reduces this risk by 76%, which is quite a lot.
What you might not be aware of is that dancing will make you have to go through several split-second decisions. This forms new connections inside your brain.
Obviously, not all dances will offer this benefit. Memorized dance routines will offer very strong social and emotional benefits but the best ones to protect against dementia are those that involve as many split-second decisions as possible.
How can we not mention the fun you will make and even the brand new friends you will meet thanks to dancing? This is especially the case when thinking about dances involving group coordination. Examples of this would be Ukrainian, swing, hip hop, and Irish dancing. As you learn these dances, you have to take cues and a bond is easily established between people participating in the same class.
What is very interesting is that in dancing you need control and focus. As you clear your mind since you have to during dancing, you end up being able to communicate in a much clearer way with people around you. So, you can socialize better.
Dancing is a wonderful outlet for emotional and physical release, especially when you are young since it is easier to express yourself. Dancing is art. It helps you show what you like and what you are like, which automatically uplifts your spirit and mood.
In a study conducted in 2007, we saw that undergraduate and high school students in Korea had higher wellbeing rates when they were dancing hip-hop than students who were exercising. We now even know that dancing is a therapy form that is capable of decreasing several clinical symptoms including anxiety and depression. Even five minutes of dancing in the comfort of your living room can make you a lot happier than before you started dancing. So, why not dance?
Think about what happens when you are more socially engaged, healthier, happier, and physically stronger. All of these automatically grow your self-confidence. As this happens, brand new opportunities open in your life.
Being more confident allows the young dancer to be more comfortable and feel more capable in most settings in life. You can see children much more interested in joining league sports and making new friends.
The benefits of dancing we highlighted above are just some of those that could be highlighted. But, they should be more than enough to help you realize how important dancing can be in your life.
One of the best things about dancing is that you do not need to be a professional at it in order to gain the benefits associated with it. All you really need to do is to have fun as you become a better and better dancer. You get to make friends, become more confident, and your health is automatically improved. Why not make this a part of your weekly routine?
You will surely not regret it and you will love dancing!