Dancing Isn’t Just Fun – It’s Really Good For Your Health!
It’s time to get your groove on.
Dancing has a way of taking your cares away. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Electric Slide, the Macarena or your own crazy moves. Who hasn’t gotten lost in an upbeat song as they jumped around?
Like any good, low-impact cardio workout, dancing can improve cardiovascular health, increase stamina, strengthen bones and muscles and stave off illnesses. But aside from the perks associated any heart-pounding activity, dancing has a cardio edge with unique benefits that actually can’t be achieved by other low-impact exercises.
“Dancing can give you more than traditional cardio,” Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist and education team member for the National Academy of Sports Medicine, told HuffPost.
Comana describes five components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and muscular strength. An activity like running on the treadmill may improve cardiovascular endurance and body composition, but an activity like dancing can actually target those two as well as muscular endurance and flexibility. And that’s on top of improved balance, agility, coordination, power, reactivity and speed, he explains.
But we’re not talking slow dances here — to count as true cardio, Comana suggests aiming for an exertion level somewhere between a 5 and a 7 on a scale where 1 is resting and 10 is the hardest thing you can do. Try the talk test: You shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t speak, but your words should be a little choppy and your breath heavy.