Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ballroom Dancing can kill you!!!.... NOT.

Ballroom Dancing has become huge in the US and the world in recent years. Tangos, waltzes, swing and foxtrots on (the still going strong) Dancing with the Stars, there was the amazing "So You Think You Can Dance,"and numerous others... In addition to being fun and social, Ballroom dancing also significantly improves both the mind and the body.

So, you wanna dance?

You're probably not going to train full time for months with a top professional dance partner, but you can still get a good workout. And keep in mind, anyone who can walk can dance.... so:
Is ballroom dancing exercise?

Of course it depends on the type of dancing and your skill level, but once you get your heart rate up, you're certainly going to get a great cardio workout, whatever you do. Dance builds bones, and is wonderful for your upper body and strength. If you have a health problem, be careful about throwing yourself into a really fast dance style, but even if you aren't in perfect shape, be willing to go for it! Just start slow and make sure you are comfortable.

Dance is a "moderate activity" say the USDA's physical activity guidelines. The g
uidelines say adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily so it doesn't take much, and it is always so much easier to stick to a weight loss or health program with fun activities. Take, for instance, maybe ballroom or Latin style dance.

You might feel muscles you don't know you have! Ballroom dancing works the backs of the thighs and buttock muscles differently than many other types of exercise.
How can ballroom dancing help the brain?

Increased blood flow to the brain results from any physical exercise and there's less stress, depression, and loneliness from dancing's social activity part. There are mental challenges (memorizing steps, working with your partner) making it a complex activity -- it's not just physical. 

So, how should I get started dancing?

* Look for a good teacher who emphasizes what you can do, is positive and works at your pace.
* Don't think you have to be perfect. Professionals aren't; why should you be?
* Dance is for everyone, so it doesn't matter if you sometimes worry about your size.
* Get into the music, as well as the movement.

Gaining any new skill brings confidence.
So have some fun, and get confident!

Peter Jones
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