Let’s Move Gary! Benefits from Dancing (National Dance Day - July 27)

Surprising Benefits from Dancing

As everyone knows, dancing is a fun social activity that anyone can enjoy. Did you know that you can significantly increase your overall health by simply dancing both mentally and physically? There are 8 primary benefits to dancing that will make you want to grab the nearest person to you and do the Cha Cha Slide.

1.            Dancing makes you smarter.

A study completed by the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing not only stimulates your brain but it actually will reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by up to 76%. Apparently, dancing is not only the best activity in reducing your risk but it is the only physical one. They studied physical activities like playing tennis, golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework and the only one to have one iota of mental benefit was dancing. Reading was shown to reduce it by 35% and crossword puzzles by 47%.

2.            Improved Flexibility

In order to become a good dancer, a good amount of flexibility is required. Each time you dance you work all major muscle groups. The more muscles you flex and extend the better your flexibility gets. Greater flexibility will also reduce soreness and ease joint pain.


3.            Increased Endurance & Heart

Dancing can be an aerobic workout and is a very physical exercise. Vigorous dancing will help improve your endurance by forcing your muscles to work for longer and longer periods without fatigue.  It will even help your heart reduce its risk of cardiovascular disease. Significant increases in health were seen in an Italian study for those that had heart failure. What other exercise can raise your heart rate and be so much fun?

4.            Reduced Stress

In the Journal of Applied Gerontology, it was found that by dancing with a partner and some good music, stress levels are reduced. So if you’re ever feeling stressed out at work or at home then turn it up and boogie down.

5.            More Happiness, Less Depression

Those who have depression can turn that frown upside down with a good group of people to dance with and some upbeat music. Many people whom are patients at hospitals had the least symptoms of depression.

6.            Weight Loss

Dancing will help you lose weight. It takes a lot of energy to dance the night away and with that comes the weight. It doesn’t even feel like work too so when you’re doing it, you are doing it longer unlike running which feels like it is taking forever.  Hit the floor and burn those calories.

7.            Increased Strength

Not only will dancing improve your endurance but it will help you build muscle. It will especially help those who have to lift others. A lot of dancing involves some repetitive moves that require a good deal of strength. The exercise forces you to work against your own weight and momentum.

8.            More Friends

To dance, one would usually do it with a group of people. Obviously, the more you go dancing the more people you will meet and the more opportunity you will have to make friends. Getting out of the house or work into a more social setting will contrite to a reduction in stress and greater happiness.

With National Dance Day coming up on July 27, what more of a reason do you need to go out and boogie?

Also, with Gary, Indiana participating in the Let’s Move! Initiative, now has never been a better time to dance. Recently the White House had and event held by the First Lady Michelle Obama for cities and towns participating in the program.  

Other sources for more information:

  • http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness-pictures/health-benefits-of-dance.aspx#/slide-11
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19808280
  • http://dance.about.com/od/danceandyourhealth/tp/Health-Benefits.htm
  • http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm
  • http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/348/25/2508

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