Did you know that 29th April, 2022 is International Dance Day? More importantly, did you know that dancing isn’t just good for the soul, but it’s actually very good for the mind and body too? If that isn’t a good enough reason to dust off your dancing shoes, we don’t know what is. Here, we’re taking a look at both the mental and physical health benefits of dancing.
Health Benefits of Dancing
One of the biggest benefits of dancing is how inclusive it is – you can get involved regardless of your age, shape, or size! Dancing is a wonderful way for children to improve their motor skills, and it can even help us maintain and improve mobility and flexibility as we get older. There are many different dance styles too, all involving different genres of music and activity levels. So you’re sure to find something that suits your personal taste. Dance has always been a huge part of human culture, playing a part in rituals or celebrations, or simply as a form of self-expression and entertainment. It’s certainly one of the most fun ways of keeping the mind and body healthy and happy!
Physical Benefits of Dancing
As mentioned above, one of the physical benefits of dancing is improved flexibility and agility. This is something that we should prioritise as we get older, as we tend to spend more time seated. This is especially true if you work in an office environment. Dancing can be an excellent way to stretch the body, shake off any feelings of stiffness after a long day at the desk, and improve energy levels. In addition, dancing can help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis as we age.
Did you know that dancing is a form of cardiovascular exercise? This means that it can help improve the condition of your heart and lungs. It can also be a fun and effective way to lose and manage weight. However, if you’re interested in increasing muscle tone and strength, you shouldn’t write off dance classes just yet. Some forms of dance not only improve fitness levels but can help increase muscular strength, flexibility and endurance.
Mental Benefits of Dancing
As we said, dancing isn’t just good for the body, there are plenty of mental health benefits of dancing too. For instance, dancing can be a great way to relieve stress. So, next time you have a bad day at work, switch off the laptop and grab your headphones. Curate a playlist full of songs that make you feel good and get moving! You don’t need perfect form or to execute each move flawlessly (you’re not on Strictly Come Dancing after all). You simply need to stretch and move your body. Add some lip-syncing to the mix for extra mood-boosting effects.
Regularly dancing, as part of a class or in your bedroom, can help improve general and psychological wellbeing, as well as boost your self-esteem and confidence. Joining a class not only offers the opportunity to learn from a professional, but it also gives you the opportunity to make new friends.
Dancing often requires concentration and focus to remember all of the moves and patterns. it is a great mental exercise for your mind, regardless of your age. In fact, it has been linked to maintaining and improving memory skills.
Benefits of Dancing for Children
Interestingly, rhythm and movement come quite naturally to children and they can pick up dance skills very quickly. Encouraging children to dance holds a host of benefits, including helping them develop motor skills, such as balance and coordination. Dancing also gives them the opportunity to use up some energy, making bedtimes slightly more manageable.
Enrolling your children in dance classes can be extremely beneficial as it gives them the opportunity to make new friends. In addition, formal dance training can help children learn discipline as they have to memorise specific routines. They may also learn the importance of teamwork as they will need to work with their group or partners to achieve a common goal. Getting involved in competitions can help children learn that dedication and hard work often pay off too.
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started is extremely easy. As we mentioned above, all you need is a playlist and a pair of headphones. If you don’t fancy making your own playlist, there are plenty available on Spotify and other similar streaming platforms. You can find free online dance tutorials on Youtube if you want to learn a routine from the comfort of your own home.
If you’re interested in the physical benefits of dancing in terms of exercise, you could look into classes that are available in your local area. In recent years, dancing has become a very popular way of staying fit so many gyms offer “Dancercise” classes. For instance, Zumba is a workout programme that involves movement inspired by various Latin American dances. Zumba dance classes are usually performed to Latin American dance music so classes are extremely upbeat and fun to attend.
Alternatively, you could enroll in a Barre class. Barre has also become very popular in recent years and you can opt for in-person or virtual classes. Barre is a form of exercise that is based on traditional ballet postures and movements, and it incorporates the use of a ballet barre. Ballet focuses on strength, flexibility and technique so it may be a good option for you if you wish to improve muscle strength, flexibility and endurance.
Jazz, Salsa, Tap, Hip-Hop, and Ballroom dance classes can be a great way to exercise too as they are all high-energy styles that involve a lot of fast-paced movements. Therefore, these styles would also help improve cardiovascular endurance and health.
Do I Need Equipment?
Whether or not you will need specific equipment will depend on the style of dance that you opt for. For instance, if you prefer to dance around the kitchen as you wait for your dinner to cook, you probably don’t need to invest in any special equipment. However, if you’re choosing to take up Ballet or Tap, you should have professionally fitted shoes to avoid injuring yourself. We also recommend stretching before and after each dance session to warm up/cool down. This helps prevent injury too.
Join The Webdoctor.ie Team for International Dance Day!
Join our online communities on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest health and wellness insights. We’ll also be sharing our ultimate dance-along playlists on our socials to mark the occasion. What are your must-have dance tunes to get your toes tapping?
Are you hoping to use dance on your weight loss journey? If you would like to speak to a doctor in more detail, why not book a video consultation with one of our Irish-registered doctors? Our doctors are available 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends. They would be more than happy to speak to you about weight loss/ management options. Alternatively, check out our prescription service for Weight Loss Treatment.