by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
In the search for a better body, many different routines have developed. Dancing is one of the most popular and fun ways to lose weight while listening to music and meeting new people. Dancing will not only help you lose weight but will also help you be in a better mood, will help you increase your strength, endurance of your bones, flexibility, balance and coordination.
You can choose anything from dancing ballet, ballroom dancing, tango, hip hop, samba, waltz, pole dancing, zumba or belly dancing. They can all help you keep a healthy body. Even if you are not a good dancer, you can learn. Do it at your own pace and enjoy the different movements. It´s all about letting yourself go. Practicing an activity were you can have fun while exercising is a good way to keep yourself motivated in including dancing as part of your workout routine. I have experienced that even if I don’t know the steps or can follow the moves, I get to laugh and enjoy the smiles and laughter of other group members.
This is always good therapy remember laughter is the best medicine! Laughter relaxes your body, boosts your immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, and improves the function of the heart.
Dancing is definitely a good workout choice. In the UK, it is the fastest growing art form. More than 4.8 million people attend regularly community dance groups each year.
There are numerous DVD programs and dancing classes out there for you to choose. You can work out indoors or outdoors. Some of the most popular dancing DVD programs you can use are: Paula Abdul Get Up and Dance; So You Think You Can Dance´s Get Fit Series: Tone and Groove; Tribal Energy Cardio; Hemalayaa´s The Bollywood Dance Workout; and Dancing With the Stars: Ballroon Buns & Abs etc.
Some of the dancing classes you can join are:
Hip hop: It involves jumping and body isolations. It promises to burn up to 650 calories per hour. According to fatburn.com a 125 lb. individual will burn approximately six calories per minute during exercise or 388 calories in one hour; a 150 lb. person will burn around eight calories per minute or 465 calories in one hour. This high-energy dance will make you sweat.
Zumba: It combines dance moves from Latin, Creole and African traditions. Women with an average weight between 120-170 lbs, can burn between 350-650 calories in an hour. Zumba improves your cardiovascular health and also your body coordination.
Pole dancing: It is a dance that combines dance, gymnastics and acrobatics. With pole dancing you get to build strength, especially in your upper body and get to burn between 250 and 350 calories. It also helps improve your balance and agility while you get a firmer, tougher and toned body.
Bollywood: Here you can lose 600-800 calories while dancing Indian music. This dance helps you tone your thighs and hips.
Salsa: Exercises your hips and legs. A 140 lb person can lose 405 calories per 60 minutes; a 180 lb person can lose up to 480 calories.
Belly dancing: It helps workout your hips, pelvis and core. Its roots are Moroccan, Spanish, Egyptian and Russian culture. You can lose between 270-320 calories in a less intense version, and 290-360 in a faster and higher intensity program. Other benefits you can get are working out your arms and shoulders that are exercised doing lifts and circles. It also helps relieve stress to the back.
Dancing has also proven to bring health benefits. A number of studies have proven this. A recent study done in Perth Western Australia by Debbie Duignan (WA Alzheimers Association) explored the use of Wu Tao Dance as a therapy for people with dementia. It was shown that Wu Tao, dance therapy that works to balance energy in the body, similar to Tai Chi, helped to reduce symptoms of agitation in people with dementia. Another study at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine done in 2007 showed Argentine Tango was better at improving the mobility of Parkinson´s disease patients than an exercise class. A study by Dr. Paul Dougall at Stratclyde University in 2010 concentrating on older women found that Scottish Country Dancers were more agile, have stronger legs and can walk better than people of the same age.