The benefits of dancing are for the body as well as the mind.
It is also a form of therapy accessible to everyone, helping to lose extra pounds, reduce stress levels, and improve self-esteem and overall mood.
Dance is one of the recommended forms of movement for people of all ages, from children who develop more harmoniously, to adults who are too busy to go to the gym.
The positive effects of dancing
People who dance vigorously enough to feel their heart rate increase benefit from an excellent form of physical training that tones muscles, strengthens bones, and increases endurance. And because dancing involves fun, it also has a tonic effect on the psyche. And the benefits don’t stop there.
Improved body flexibility
Flexibility is an essential condition for maintaining physical health, and dance makes full use of this quality of the human body. Most dance classes start with stretching exercises to warm up and perform more complex movements involving all major muscle groups.
Over time, dancers are able to contort their bodies with ease, precisely because they have constantly improved their flexibility through more extensive and demanding dance movements.
Increasing body strength
Body strength is defined as the ability of muscles to resist another force. Dance develops the muscles, forcing them to support the dancer’s own body weight. In addition, many dance styles (including ballet) involve jumping in the air, movements that place a high demand on the leg muscles.
Physical endurance training
Like any physical exercise, dancing also increases physical endurance, defined as the ability of muscles to work for longer and longer periods of time without feeling exhausted. Regular, vigorous dancing increases heart rate while improving the functionality of the heart system.
Inducing a positive mood
Dancing is also a social activity. Researchers’ studies have shown that building harmonious relationships with those around you contributes to increased self-esteem and the development of a positive outlook on life. Because it combats the effects of stress, dancing is an excellent vehicle for mood.
Another benefit of dancing is the stimulation of cognitive functions, especially memory, i.e. the prevention of dementia with age. Scientists have found that aerobic exercise, such as dancing, slows the loss of volume in the brain region called the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory. This area of the brain shrinks in late adulthood, which explains why memory disorders and various forms of dementia occur in many cases.
Dancing is also an excellent way of combating stress, both by releasing muscle tension and improving mood. Dancing as a couple can have the same calming effect on the psyche, stimulating the mood for intimacy and relaxation.
Dancing is also an effective form of depression prevention, according to a study conducted on a sample of people who have received this diagnosis in the past. Patients who participated in a group dance class showed the fewest symptoms of depression and the highest level of vitality.
Preventing heart disease
People at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease can prevent illness through dance. Some patients diagnosed with heart failure improved their breathing, heart rate, and quality of life with regular dance classes, a study by Italian researchers shows. Dancing has been shown to be more effective in preventing heart disease than cycling or using cardio machines in gyms.
Facilitating weight loss
A very effective form of movement for weight loss is dancing. This physical activity helps to burn calories quickly in the same way as other cardio workouts such as jogging, cycling, or aerobic training.
However, how many calories are lost through dancing depends largely on your body and how vigorous your movements are over a period of time. About 30 minutes of moderately-paced dancing a day can facilitate the loss of up to 0.5 kg per week.
Defining your waistline and burning belly fat
Legs and arms seem to be the most stressed areas of the body during dancing, but the abdominal and back muscles are also worked intensely. Thus, dancing helps to burn abdominal fat faster and define the waistline, if practiced regularly.
Improved body balance
Dancing involves maintaining a correct body posture and performing several quick movements. These two conditions contribute to gaining better control over the body, thus improving its balance. Elderly people can successfully prevent accidents caused by body imbalances with dance, scientists have recently discovered.
Increasing energy levels
Just one dance session a week can increase physical performance and energy levels in adults. These two benefits come from the positive effects of moving in a pleasant environment, such as stimulating blood circulation, building muscles, improving self-image and mood, etc.
Strengthening the immune system
Physical activity through dance has many beneficial effects on the immune system, it increases the number of leukocytes, ensures good blood circulation, and faster access to antibodies throughout the body, increases endorphin levels, lowers stress hormone levels, and increases internal body temperature, which prevents the growth of bacteria.