So you think I can dance? Well to be honest, not very gracefully. I will confess that a few lessons (ballet, swing, hip-hop, ballroom…) would do my form some good. But, as the saying goes, “dance like no one is watching!” Dancing is fun, social and a fantastic workout. Plus it can be done almost anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.Through my work at the Physical Activity Line, I often talk to people who are having a hard time getting started with physical activity. If you can relate, here’s an important piece of advice I give these callers: find an activity you enjoy! Other than the fact that dance is fun (!), here are a few more reasons you may want to try it:
- Aerobic exercise: Most dancing is considered moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. All you need to get your groove on and your heart-rate up is suitable footwear and good music. Learn a specific style of dance through classes at your local community center or dance studio, or do your own thing while blaring your favourite tunes in the comfort of your home.
- Bone strengthening: Stepping, hopping, and jumping all contribute to the health of the bones in your legs as well as those in your spine. Exercise type dance classes like Zumba™ are frequently taught at most recreation centers and are adapted for various levels of fitness (to adjust the impact and intensity).
- Mental Health: If you’re like me and have two left feet, learning a new dance pattern is quite the task. Using your brain to learn new movements and then getting your body to do them is a challenge, but so worth it! It gets you thinking in a different way, giving you a mental break from day-to-day tasks.
Studies show that learning new dance movements benefits adults with dementia. Studies also show lower risks of developing dementia later in life in those who dance. Learn more about how physical activity promotes brain health.
- Socializing: Whether you’re dancing your heart away with friends, learning new moves or choreography through instructed dance classes, or enjoying a romantic slow dance with your partner, the art of dance is about bringing people together. The great workout is a bonus!
ParticipACTION: Get active with a friend and actually stay friends