The Health Benefits of Dancing: Why You Should Hit the Dance Floor

The Health Benefits of Dancing: Why You Should Hit the Dance Floor

I don’t mean to alarm you, but there are many bad things that could happen at your end of year office party.

  •  AAAH – Your office enemy could show up in the exact same  statement  red dress.
  • EEEK – You could have one too many glasses of bubbles and start to tell your boss how you really feel about their new haircut.
  • OH DEAR – You may have one too many canapés and cascade into a slump of zombie like proportions.

BUT…

There is one thing that is sure to:

  • Up your energy levels,
  • Give you a health kick that will help fight off your day after party blues
  • AND potentially A RAISE!

That magical activity isDancing the night away!

OK, although I may not have been entirely (or at all) accurate regarding the raise scenario…

Once you’ve finished reading this article, I’m sure you’ll agree that the benefits of dancing are not to be missed.

Benefits of dancing

Thanks to the miraculous powers of the human form, we can do things that can change both the structure and function of our body and our brain!

Dancing (especially when you truly bust out) has all of the glorious benefits of an aerobic exercise such as jogging or swimming…and them some!

Some of the amazing health benefits of boogying (listed below) are almost immediate…

“Hit me with some endorphins…NOW!”

Some endorphins occur once you have had a night full of dancing (you can change your actual brain structure through regular dancing in as little as 3 months).

6 health benefits of dancing – why you should kick it on the D-Floor as soon and as much as possible

Benefits of dancing

1. The D-Floor does not discriminate

  • There is no age limit on dancing.
  • The art and love of dancing spans across cultures, countries and beliefs.
  • You do NOT need a particular skill set for dancing or any fancy pieces of equipment, like some other forms of exercise. You just need your body and your mind (and preferably some music – but you could always improvise with that 😉

 2. It can make you FEEL fiiiine!

  • Dancing can increase the same neurotransmitters that are known to be decreased in depression (serotonin and noradrenaline) and it can also increase dopamine (which is associated with the feeling of reward).
  • Research shows a link between aerobic exercise like dancing with increased general and psychological well being, greater self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • It can make you feel more energetic and less tense.

Benefits of dancing

3.It will help you LOOK fiiiine!

  • Dancing is a form of cardiovascular exercise hidden amongst rhythm and fun! The benefits of dancing include your physical appearance. It will help increase your muscle tone and burn off some extra holiday food pounds.
Want to get the most out of your boogie-magic?

“Move like no-one is watching…OR like EVERYONE is watching and YOU LOVE IT!” Why not…move more! How many calories you burn depends on how much physical energy you put into your moves. For example, on average a person of 150 pounds will burn about 240 calories/ hour…but if you are really going for your ultimate BOOM-SHAKE-SHAKE-SHAKE THE ROOM style, heavy breathing, jumping, jigging glory you can triple that amount! Why not…get creative! Use as much space as you have…think out side of the box…have fun with it! By moving in different dancing ways you can activate different muscle groups. This can have an effect on tone and can also help with balance as you might strengthen your bodies support muscles and tendons that are often missed in straight ahead, level ground exercise, like jogging.

Benefits of dancing

 4. It can help kill off some of those social jitters

  •  Research suggests that there is benefits of dancing in a group, as it can improve your social skills and that it encourages social bonding.
  • It has been known to be prescribed for social anxiety.
  • If you’re dancing with a partner (and are touching each other), apparently this is extra good for your mood and stress levels. It holds both the benefits of hugging AND of exercise. Just make sure that it’s not full-on slow dancing if you’re wanting the full-blown effects of the heart-beating dance!

benefits of dancing

Dancing is one of my go-to moves when I’m not in the mood to talk to people or feel like I’m having a bit of a “mind burp” chit-chat moment. I enjoy that there is absolutely NO pressure to talk on the D-floor. Especially if you are really letting loose! And the more you move, the more your body responds with those fancy natural anti-depressants. Win-win!

5.Delay the ageing process

benefits of dancing

As with other similar types of low-impact heart pounding exercise, dancing can improve:

  • The condition of your heart and lungs
  • Can increase aerobic fitness
  • Can increase muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis

6. When you move like that your body and mind goes MMMmmm

  • Specifically with dance and other sports that have specific moves, there is the happy side effect of increased balance, agility and coordination. This means that if we keep up dancing later in life…we could help avoid nasty falls that could have a huge impact on our lives.
  • Neuroscientist Dr Wendy Suzuki and her school of students are finding that increased aerobic exercise can stimulate birth of brain cells in the hippocampus…which is a part of the brain that has been suggested to be involved in memory and even imagination!
  • The New England Journal of Medicine published an article in 2003 suggesting that dancing lessons/ learning a particular type of dance has been shown to be linked to 76% decrease in dementia risk.

Personal pointers (take ‘em, or leave ‘em):

benefits of dancing

If you feel like you’re not a good dancer and are a bit nervous about your two left feet…guess what…

NO-ONE else really cares about your skills!

Whether you you have “Dancing with the Stars” potential, or not, I guarantee that 99.9% of people will be too focused on thinking about themselves that they probably won’t even notice your skills (or lack of).

If there isn’t a dance floor at your work party and everyone is just focussed on the booze…put in your time networking and then bail for a boogie.

benefits of dancing

 This is also a good tip if you are hesitant to break loose around a few colleagues. Why not just grab a couple of your work besties and head around the corner for a d-floor work-out? This could also help avoid late night, alcohol-fuelled mishaps around the big bosses.

 If you haven’t danced in a while….all the more reason to get back into it!

 Tonight when you get home, go into your living room or bedroom, pump your favourite song really loudly and let LOOSE! It doesn’t have to be for long…just do it! Move your body to the music.

When I get home from a really stressful day at work, I have been known to go into my room and blast out Alanis Morissette “You Outta Know” and dance and sing at the top of my lungs to shake of some of the poop of the day.

Go with a song that suits your mood…or use music to help flip it (whichever rocks your boat at the time). You might just end up dancing ‘till you’re 10 songs in…sweating and exhausted. YES…workout done and you didn’t even mean to be exercising!

What about after the party?

benefits of dancing

Why not try and get the benefits of dancing in your life wherever you can…

In your living room?

On a night out? Try and organise a place to meet with friends where there’s a D-floor or live band to boogie-down to

At your own holiday celebrations why not crank some music out? Get your recommendations from your rellies and get everyone up for a dance.

Dance with your partner? I’ve heard it can be super sexy…although when my partner and I dance it’s more of a comedy act situation…we end up adding hysterical laughter into the mix and give the abs a workout too!

 Or…what about RIGHT NOW! 

About Author

Laura Rigden

Wellbeing Consultant / Founder of It’s a Playground
(BSc Neuroscience, Anatomy & Human Biology, Graduate Dip Psych) |

I’m an Aussie born creative kook with an intense passion for all that is science and wellbeing. Science really is super sexy and I want to help spread it’s power. Since moving to London, I’ve been working on a business that will hopefully help me do that (It’s a Playground – launching early 2018). We should be working on our mental health like we do our physical! It may not directly help us fit into our skinny jeans, but our glow and confidence will be a billion times more attractive (I promise). Workout your mind and body and challenge yourself to be the best you can be…I dare you. | Instagram: @itsaplayground | Website: www.itsaplayground.org | Email: contact.itsaplayground@gmail.com |
Facebook: @mindstrengthandconditioning

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