Hitting the dance floor could be good for you
There are plenty of sports where you need expensive equipment or specific conditions to make a decent go of it. But sometimes the most fun you can have is with the simple enjoyment of the movement of your own body.
And with a recent emphasis on dancing taking over the airwaves, more people may be open to strutting their stuff on the dance floor than ever before. From the ballroom to the street, there’s a whole world of different styles to enjoy. How beneficial can they be – and how fun?
I bet you look good on the dance floor…
The story about how hardworking celebrities have shed several stone while cha-cha-cha-ing on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing is now a yearly fixture of the tabloids in the run-up to Christmas. Meanwhile, shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Britain’s Got Talent have highlighted the sheer diversity of styles, and the athleticism of their practitioners.
And one of the most appealing things about dance is that it is exercise that doesn’t feel like hard work. In short, it can be more obviously enjoyable than some traditional sports activities – an important consideration if you don’t necessarily think of yourself as a ‘sporty’ person.
Of course, you can enjoy an impromptu dance to the radio in the kitchen, or sweat it out in a night club, but by attending a dance class, you can get into a rhythm and make the exercise a real part of your regime, while also meeting new people and having fun. While many sports clubs will operate their own classes with teachers, if it’s dance – and dance only – that you are interested in, it may make sense to search out a dance school.
First consider what it is that really moves you. The Zumba sensation is a popular fitness crossover dance, while salsa offers the opportunity to bring South American spice to partner dancing. In addition, variations of jazz dance are popular, while ballroom is enjoying something of a renaissance due to ‘Strictly…’ coverage. But these are not the only options; for traditionalists there are ballet and tap, while for those of a more urban orientation, there is the eye-catching variation on street dance, which brings the attitude and moves of the music video into real life. And for those who want the experience in their own home, there are now many dance games for consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and particularly the Xbox360, which uses its motion sensing Kinect device to track body movements for an immersive experience.
How good is it?
As with any exercise, you only get out what you put in. Provided you can keep up a level where your heart is beating briskly, then it can be good cardiovascular exercise – which in turn has many health benefits, such as lowering the likelihood of cardiac arrest or developing diabetes. In addition, it is estimated that a decent level of aerobic dancing can burn the better part of 400 calories for someone weighing only around 9.5 stone, meaning there is good potential for incorporating dancing into a weight-loss programme.
And there are also potentially great benefits for older people. As it is a load-bearing exercise, dancing can build stronger bones, and there are suggestions that those who practice ballroom dancing have a lower risk of developing dementia. Therefore, taking up regular dancing can be a great way to lead a healthier lifestyle and may even help increase longevity. And as part of your long-term planning for your family’s health and welfare you should also consider a life insurance policy.
Issued by Sainsbury’s Finance
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