Health benefits of dancing
Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to keep themselves in a good shape. Dancing is an exciting and pleasant activity that can brighten up the monotonous life of any person. Dancing is useful for the emotional, mental and physical health of a dancer. Actually, much is said about dance benefits for health, however, not all theories are backed up with convincing arguments. In this article, we will talk about dance health benefits for the human body from the scientific point of view.
Dance benefits for your well-being
Many people doubt dance benefits for the overall health as they don’t treat dancing seriously. It’s like making fun and moving your body. Samba, rumba, zumba, disco, freestyle – they do not sound like something really weighty. But is it really so? Let’s consult the expert to find out the truth.
Catherine Cram, an exercise physiologist in Middleton, says that depending on the type of a dance and dancer’s skills, dance exercise can be taken for a serious physical workout. Do you remember popular TV shows with dancing contestants like “So You Think You Can Dance” or “Dancing with the Stars”? Some contestants succeeded to lose weight during their training. As Cram explains, if any exercise, including dance workout, boosts the heart rate up, the person is doing a terrific workout even if this is a freestyle. Moreover, dancing is referred to weight-bearing activity, so it requires strong legs and spine. Dancing stimulates bone-building processes, which can be both good and bad for some dancers-to-be. That is why Catherine Cram advices to consult the doctor before you decide to go in for dancing.
Dance benefits for your brain
You have probably heard that some mothers are recommended to enroll their kids in dance classes if they have problems with coordination. Indeed, dancing can help to improve balance which alongside being great physical activity is a terrific work of the human brain. The results of the study published by Mahoney Neuroscience Institute in On The Brain newsletter show how dance workout stimulates brain activity. The thing is, together with a movement coordination, dancing requires complex mental coordination. Synchronizing music and the movements stimulate brain’s reward centers. Thanks to PET images it became possible to identify the regions of the brain responsible for dancing, they are the motor and somatosensory cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. It was also proved that dance exercise can alter brain function.
Due to this recent study, some medical institutions started to apply dance therapy to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease. Dance exercise is also recommended as a preventive therapy for dementia. In his article for The New England Journal of Medicine, Joe Verghese, MD, said that among a dozen physical activities they have studied, only dancing can boast to have a lower risk for dementia. As you can see, dance health benefits for the brain are quite impressive to inspire you to enroll in a dance school.
Dance benefits for your self-confidence
When we see a dancer on the stage, we believe he/she is so relaxed and unselfconscious. Actually, a dancer should go through a thorny path to become confident and this can be really challenging for some people. Jane Wilson Cathcart, the New York dance therapist, gives some advice to would-be-dancers:
- Choose a teacher who emphasizes your strong sides, not your weak points.
- Dance even if you are not satisfied with your size.
- Do not be too critical to yourself, enjoy a little success.
- Get into the music and make fun.
Dancing is an excellent psychological training where you have to accept your limits and cope with your complexes. You should get rid of your inner judge for some time, because we are the harshest critics of ourselves, believes Cathcart. She insists that a beginner should not be limited by being a perfectionist. Dance exercise needs time, much practice and reward. A smooth movement, a leap, quick steps – try to be happy with a little success to move forward, to keep on dancing. New skills bring confidence. Next time when you hear music at the party you don’t need to run away or to encourage you with the martini. You will feel good about yourself even if you are a sophomore dancer. Be positive and remember that a good dance begins with one step. Rock on!
We have enumerated just few dance health benefits backed by scientific researches and studies, not taking into account how fun dancing is and how easy you can do it anywhere anytime. Regular training and constant practice will allow you to achieve an excellent health effect. Many elements of dance, such as noble posture, gait, grace, will gradually grow into your everyday habit. So shall we dance?