Moving to the rhythm of the music is enjoyable to almost everyone and unsurprisingly, it is also beneficial. Dancing is, in a way, a type of exercise that helps improve mental as well as physical health. It keeps overall health optimal, prevents diseases ranging from diabetes to dementia.
Regardless of whether one is 6 years old or 66, the benefits of dancing can be experienced by all and sundry. Wondering how this fun activity is good for your health? Here are 10 ways dancing serves physical and mental health:
1 – Boosts memory
As you climb the age ladder higher, your cognitive abilities start getting impaired with the natural shrinking of your hippocampus. This means you frequently find yourself searching for things that you can’t remember where you placed and struggling with giving names to people whom you don’t meet often. However, one way to enhance your memory by preventing memory impairment is dancing.
A study published in the journal called Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that people in the age bracket of 60 to 80 benefited their memory more by dancing than by walking or stretching.
2 – Enhances mood
If you’ve been dealing with a low mood lately, you can try moving your limbs. Dancing can help improve your mood in almost the same way running makes runners feel better – by releasing endorphins. A study conducted by the American Medical Association concluded that young girls felt more confident and had more positive thoughts after they danced.
This doesn’t mean that the benefits of dance on mood are limited to a particular age group, though. Moreover, dancing also reduces stress levels along with increasing energy markers.
3 – Improves flexibility
Improved flexibility makes physical performance better. When you are more flexible, your body doesn’t spend as much energy in movement. Flexibility also reduces resistance in muscles which reduces the risk of injury. Dancing comprises of many stretching movements which is why it is beneficial for becoming more flexible.
You’d have noticed how flexible ballerinas are and they owe that to their regular dance practices. Flexibility also reduces stiffness, and joint pain and enables one to recover from exercise-induced soreness better.
4 – Reduces Stress
You probably know that exercise can reduce stress. Dancing is very much like exercise. And one of the mental benefits it provides is that it acts as a stress-reliever. A study published the Journal of Applied Gerontology talks about how dancing along with turning on some music can help relieve stress which is all too common these days.
Dancing is a creative outlet for many, and it also supports fitness. This also explains how it makes people feel good and relieves stress.
5 – Tackles depression
Depression is a serious mood disorder characterized by one’s lack of interest in the things that he once found fun. Depression can even lead to suicidal thoughts which is why it is essential to seek a professional’s guidance. Typically, medications and talk therapy are used for combating depression. However, Dance and Movement Therapy may also be recommended for beating the blues.
Dancing results in the release of endorphins and dopamine which is how it can fight depression. A research carried out by The Arts in Psychotherapy shows that dancing livelily is better at reducing depression than vigorous exercise and music.
6 – Strengthens heart
As per a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine dancing can relieve stress as well as work as high-intensity exercise in brief bouts. The study found that moderate-intensity dancing can take down the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, dancing can improve breathing and heart health more in comparison to walking as per an Italian Study.
This Italian research also showed that dancing improved one’s quality of life more. Moreover, as mentioned above, dancing can fight depression for which cardiovascular disease is a risk factor.
7 – Melts weight
Dancing is great for fitness too. It is a fun way to burn calories. Faster and more intense dancing can burn twice more calories than slow dances such as the waltz. You can try Zumba dance for weight loss as well. The movement is a perfect exercise and well as joyous. Therefore, try dancing for at least 20 minutes, 4 or 5 days in a week.
A study from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology said that dancing can help lose weight along with bumping up aerobic power.
8 – Betters balance
Worried already about getting older and losing your balance? Dancing can help. When you dance, you improve your balance which means fewer chances of tripping and falling. A study which has been published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity shows how dancing can give more stability and balance.
Dancing also improves posture and strength. It is better than sports in this department as it exerts less force on the body and encourages full movements.
9 – Increases energy
Another reason why you should consider adding dancing to your routine is that it also ups your energy levels. This means you stay active and productive throughout the day. Dancing encourages higher energy levels as it ensures that blood is thoroughly pumped throughout the body and happiness is also promoted.
Dance increases energy markers both in the short term and in the long term as well. Dances can, hence, make one agiler.
10 – Toughens bones
The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests taking up dancing as a high-intensity exercise that strengthens bones. Dancing is basically a weight-bearing exercise and such exercises encourage bone tissue formation. Dancing is also good for bones as it keeps muscles and joints healthy. Some also say that dancing can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
However, for reaping the benefits for bones from dancing, one should consume a proper nourishing diet. Moreover, for patients of arthritis, they should consult experts before engaging in a particular dance type.
So, what are you waiting for? Join dance classes or get moving with some dance videos online!