Why dance is important in your life…

You don’t need to be a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” to get the benefits of busting a move every now and then. Check out the benefits of shaking out your sillies! A simple tune can benefit several body parts at one time – so go and cut the rug, and dance your way to better health.

Your Brain
Bumping tunes ignite the regions that process sound and emotion. A favorite jam can prompt your noggin’s reward system to blast out the “happy hormone” dopamine the same way it would post- chocolate or even after sex!

You can’t stop your beat: The frontal lobe and primary motor cortex order your muscles to squat, pop, and shake or jump around!

Dancing taps into so many areas of the brain- physical, emotional, social- that all your neural networks fire at once. It’s a cognitive workout that can help keep frequent dancers sharp well into old age.

Heart and Lungs
Ever wonder why you can groove seemingly all night? Your body vessels dilate to send extra-oxygenated blood, a.k.a. energy, to your muscles. Heart and respiratory rates shoot up, triggering a wave of woo-hoo, keep-going endorphins.

Serious bopping revs up your metabolism, slaying belly fat. A 30-minute session counts as your daily cardio; an hour-plus of any kind (even country line dancing) can burn 400 to 500 calories.

Unlike sports such as running or cycling, getting ‘jiggy’… means using your entire body. Constantly switching up your position improves balance, posture, and coordination long-term.

Shake it off- literally! Research shows dancing may slash levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s also been linked to reduced anxiety and depression.

Physical contact on the d-floor with pals or strangers may up your testosterone, leading to increased confidence. But getting down with your bad self is effective too. One study found that women of all shapes and sizes felt more self-assured after jumpin’ around on their own! Get movin’ & groovin’ guys!
*Portions of article reprinted from Womanshealthmagazine.com. May 2015, pg. 94.