Dancing gives us plenty of room for self-expression and can be powerful in helping the body and mind to be stimulated. It’s all about movement and music and you. This is one thing everyone agrees about: Dance is beneficial. It’s exercising without “feeling” like you’re exercising, it increases cardiovascular and mental health, releasing endorphins while you turn, spin, and simply MOVE.
Unfortunately, in our “modernized” society, we have lost touch with its potential. In contrast, dance has always been an integral part of many other cultures. You don’t have to dance with an African tribe around a roaring fire to realize the healing benefits of dance; luckily, all you need is yourself. Here are six reasons why you should consider dancing:
One: It helps you get in shape, which of course, is in line with the purpose of this fitness blog. It might not feel like a chore, but dancing for longer periods at adequate intensity is the same as working out. Unconscious exercise? Isn’t that the best?
Two: It is good for stress reduction. Not many things relieve stress better than dancing. Of course, the exception would be exercise, but yet again, I might be biased in declaring this. Nevertheless, shaking away all the built-up tension of the day is beneficial, so give it a shot.
Three: It helps you sleep better by using up your extra energy. While this is true, there are caveats to it as well. In the same way that exercise may hyperstimulate the system into insomnia, dancing can as well. Everybody is different, so find your sweet spot with this one.
Four: It helps increase your bone density, leading to less problems as you age. I’m sure you have heard of osteoporosis. If you are way too young, do not get complacent about it. The seniors will tell you that bone-density related problems can appear suddenly and without warning. Take heed.
Five: It can help reduce depression. After all, it does help you build confidence. Indeed, dancing is also good for one’s mental health. People who are battling depression may find that dancing gives them an outlet and feel a sense of accomplishment. The other point is to do with endorphins, which is also stimulatd by exercise.
Six: It helps develop your motor skills. Dancing can help you improve your concentration and memory, while making you more disciplined. It also helps you improve your balance and stamina. As a non-dancer, I found this out firsthand when I gave dancing a shot. Of course, it must be at a sufficiently high level.
Seven: It can help boost your social life if you are part of a class or community. Yes, we all know that some dance classes are full of perverts. However, that does not apply to all dance communities. If you feel like boosting your social life, dancing is something you can consider.
If you feel like dancing is too hard, take solace in the fact that dancing is simply moving. Choose music you feel comfortable with and never put any kind of restrictions on yourself. Flow, float, stomp, jump up and down. Move fast or in slow motion. The key is to just allow the body to move, so don’t think too much — just move. Don’t worry about how you look; if you’re alone, no one can see you. If you’re in a dance class, everyone else is laughing, making the same mistakes you are.
After a while you’ll definitely notice something: You’re not worrying as much anymore; you are sleeping better; you aren’t as irritable at work or at home, with your family; and you feel surprisingly “healed” in some way. People young and old, in all states of fitness, living in all kinds of bodies can benefit from dance.
Remember, you’re not forcing your body to move according to someone else’s steps; to truly dance is to just tune in to your own personal radio station, and move according to the rhythm of your soul. Dance slow, dance fast, dance solo, dance with others, dance with joy, even dance the sorrow out of your heart. There are no rules — just DANCE!
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Also published on Medium.
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