Dancing to improve your fitness

Some of our members have recently shown a keen interest in dancing for fun and also as a way of improving their fitness.  Many people don’t think of dance at first as a form of getting in shape but actually it is a very good way of doing so.

There are many forms of dance for example ballroom, disco, morris dancing and even barn dancing.  It’s always just been part of being human from the days of rituals and celebrations. Nowadays, it’s more about recreation, self expression and competition.

dance rehearsal

Benefits of dancing

Obviously dancing requires a range of movement.  Because of this, it can provide many benefits:

  • Aerobic fitness improves due to having to breathe a lot more when compared to resting.
  • As more blood is circulated when dancing, the condition of the heart is improves.
  • All that movement, some of which requires a reasonable amount of strength, meaning that muscular endurance, strength and motor fitness is improved.
  • Dancing can also increase weight loss.  It is said that on average 400 calories are burnt per hour.  So with the correct diet, this is highly beneficial.
  • The movement from dancing will cause bones to develop making them stronger and reducing the risk of osteoporosis
  • Improved coordination is a result of dancing as it does require you to have a level of control over your body.  This is only improves with practice.
  • After a while of dancing, you will notice that your balance and spatial awareness will be greatly improved if you have not been dancing previously.
  • Along with all of this, meeting new people will improve your social skills, self confidence and self esteem.

ballet

How to get dancing

You can dance on your own, with a partner of in a group.  There are many different places where dancing takes place.  Community halls and dance schools are great place to start but you can even get going in your own home.  It has actually become quite a popular method to keep in good shape and so many fitness centres and gyms also provide dance classes.
It is possible to dance both competitively or socially and it is a great choice of sport as anyone at any age can do it.  Also it does not depend on the weather as many other sports do.  The equipment and clothing will differ between types of dance.  One thing that you will most likely need is a leotards.  There are various types of dance leotards available and again this is down the type of dance that you choose and also personal preference. For some types of dance you need equipment such as ballet where you need the correct ballet shoes and potentially a tutu.

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