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Just Show Up and Dance

dance for fitness

Dancing is sometimes undervalued and disregarded when discussing physical fitness and cardiovascular exercises. It’s wonderful that you don’t require a partner for many dancing genres, styles, or types. You are everything you need, along with the appropriate footwear.

For instance, Mary has always enjoyed dancing. She can’t recall ever not wanting to dance. Alternatively, move to the beat of the song. While she perceived it as dancing, others only saw her moving and “bopping” – without much rhythm or flair – to the beat of music; a beat she heard in her head which frequently was not the beat others heard. Her music instructor in middle school warned her that “she had no rhythm.” She attracted snickers when she showed up on the dance floor in high school and college, completely unaware of others around her and only swaying to her own beat. In the past, when you went to a school dance or party, boys would approach you and ask you to dance. Despite being timid, she learned to feel at ease dancing both with others and by herself thanks to her passion for dance. She looked like a chicken on the dance floor, according to her best friend who was an “excellent” dancer (and frequently asked to dance). Before the groovy chicken dance became well-known, that happened. Fast forward to more than 40 years later, and Mary is still bobbing her head or moving to the music. Frequently, in the seclusion of her own house. She uses it as her main method of exercise. I assumed she had a tight fitness program and possibly even a personal trainer when I first met her because of her strength, muscle tone, and agility (for a person in her late sixties).

She said she dances three or four times a week, sometimes alone in the solitude of her own house, sometimes with others. When I asked her about it, she said she follows a strict diet. But she never dances with a partner—always by herself. She claimed that she has always enjoyed swaying to the music and that she has always found time, regardless of her schedule, to do so, even if it is only for a short period of time (15 to 20 minutes). Reggae is Mary’s favorite genre even if she likes many others. Reggae, she claimed, enables her to “sway” anytime, wherever.

FUN! You discover that dancing is enjoyable when you unwind and let go. Even if you skip a few or many steps, the music, rhythm, and moves still make you feel good. For instance, certain dance styles, such as Zumba® (a Latin-inspired, cardio-based, dance-fitness program), generate a fun, festive atmosphere that is energizing, simple to follow, and beneficial to the mind, body, and soul. When the playlist contains some of my own favorites, the fun level is increased for me.

• WELL-BEING AND FITNESS. Whatever the style, variety, or genre, dancing offers a chance to work out the entire body. Depending on body weight and the intensity of the dancing routine, a different number of calories can be burned in an hour. But dancing can burn about 200 calories per hour when done at a moderate to high intensity. You get a fantastic cardiovascular workout in addition to working up your main muscles. Strength, stamina, flexibility, and agility are all enhanced by dancing. Joints can move more freely as a result of an increase in range of motion.

COMMUNITY RELATIONS. Dance is not only a thrilling kind of fitness, but it also gives you the chance to have more social interactions with like-minded people in a carefree, judgment-free setting. You get an opportunity to broaden your social network while picking up some intriguing new abilities. On the dance floor, a lot of enduring friendships and connections were made.

Starting to dance is never too late. You don’t need to be coordinated or have the ability to jump, bend, or kneel. No one expects you to be perfect (whatever your definition of good). All you need to do is “show up and move” whether that movement is a marching motion, arm motions, or side-to-side swaying. Even your chair can be used. Move regardless of whether you are sitting or standing. You’ll be grateful now and in the future for it, body, mind, and soul.

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