Keep the Weight Off and Dance for Your Health

//Keep the Weight Off and Dance for Your Health

Swing Dance yourself thin.  Salsa away your hips and thighs.  Tone your midsection with Belly Dancing.  And Jazzercise your way to a healthy and fit body…

If endlessly running nowhere on a treadmill, pumping iron on Muscle Beach, or “Sweating to the Oldies” at home alone is not motivating you to keep the weight off, then dancing is the fitness solution for you!  Dancing is not only a good workout, but it is a great way to stay active, meet people and HAVE FUN.  So if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off by developing a healthy and active lifestyle, then there is a dance style or class that will help you achieve your goals.

Is the Jive Good For Your Thighs?

The CDC recommends that the average adult get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 times a week (150 minutes a week) OR 75 minutes of high-intensity activity a week.  That is about the equivalent of 1,000-1,700 calories* burned per week to maintain a healthy body.  To lose weight we must burn more calories than we consume.  For those with low or nonexistent activity levels, simply adding any regular activity to your weekly schedule without changing your diet will help to burn those excess calories.

The two biggest challenges for people trying to lose weight is finding a physical activity that keeps their interest and motivates them to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle once they’ve reached their goal weight.  Why not lose weight doing something fun?  Physical activities, like dancing which is socially engaging and adaptable to meet anyone’s tastes, motivates us to be active on a regular basis for many years to come.

Lose Weight While Having Fun

We all know that physical activity is good for our bodies and dancing, like any physical activity burns calories, but how many calories are we actually burning?

Tango | Blues | Fox Trot | Waltz | Belly Dancing

Slow tempo ballroom dances, tango and blues may not be an intense cardio workout, but the slow movements activate your core and stabilizer muscles helping to improve balance and burns  calories.  In 30 minutes you might burn about 100-200 calories.  Take a class 5 times a week or go social dancing a few times a week (as recommended), and you could burn up to 1,000 calories a week.  Not to mention you will have learned the most common social dances around the world – go on vacation to Buenos Aires but don’t ditch your fitness goals just take your dancing shoes!  Or learn to shimmy and belly dance to lose weight, tone that midsection and tease your significant other.

Cha Cha | Salsa | Swing Dancing

Swing, Lindy Hop, Cha Cha, Salsa and other fast tempo dances will move your feet and get your heart pumping as you sweat off the pounds.  These dances deliver an intense full-body workout.  Train like you are about to audition for Dancing with the Stars or keep things casual and learn the tools to have fun at social dances and nightclubs.  30 minutes of these dances can have you burning about 200-300 calories.  Five times a week or several nights of social dancing with friends can burn up to 1,500 calories a week – not to mention it will improve your stamina.

Jazzercise and Zumba 

Dance Fitness Classes such as Jazzercise are designed to be a fun and focused dance based workout.  Routines and moves are chosen to target specific areas, raise or low heart rates and keep you in the fat burning zone (about 60% of your maximum heart rate).  These classes have been professionally engineered to help you lose weight and stay active.  Your typical 50 minute class will have you sweating out about 600 calories!  Keep up with regular classes several times a week and your bound to burn off 1,800 calories.

 * Calorie Calculations are based on a 150lb woman.   If you weigh less than 150 lbs you will likely burn less, if you weighed more than 150lbs you will likely burn more, and if you are a male you will likely burn more.  Calculate your own activity burn rates.

More Health Benefits from Dancing

Dancing may be a fun way to lose weight, but there are many benefits to a regular physical exercise which requires social interaction.

  • Moderate to intense physical activity on a regular basis improves cardiovascular circulation, lowers cholesterol, stimulates the release of pleasurable brain chemicals and repairs/improves mental function.
  • These physical benefits carry over into a number of emotional rewards such as reducing stress, anxiety and depression, not to mention a chance to interact with peers.
  • Dancing is a great way to meet new friends, share a common interest with others and gain a sense of personal achievement as you learn new skills.

No matter your age or ability, anyone can dance and reap the benefits of social dancing or dance fitness classes.  Remember, dancing keeps us young!  Dancing keeps us healthy!  And dancing keeps us happy!

 

By |2013-07-25T21:43:19-07:00July 9th, 2013|Dance Fitness and Health|0 Comments

About the Author:

Shani Brown discovered swing dancing in the late 90s as she eased out of gymnastics into a new physical activity. When she moved to Orange County in 2000, she discovered a whole new world of Balboa and Lindyhop - and she's been obsessed ever since! When she's not hitchhiking to dance events across the country, she's probably got her nose in a book...And when she's not dancing, she's probably talking about dancing or watching dancing and being a typical dance-geek.

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