As I said in my last post I’ve received numerous health benefits from adding dancing to my list of activities. In today’s post I’ll be exploring some more of the “whys” behind the benefits of dancing, as well as how to get started if it sounds like something you may be interested in!
Everyone knows that exercise is vital to good health. It does everything from lowering your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, to increasing your lifespan, to boosting your internal happiness chemicals like dopamine and serotonin (particularly vital to sufferers from anxiety and depression!). Here is a great little article I found about some of the scientifically proven health benefits of exercise. http://www.dumblittleman.com/2008/02/13-scientifically-proven-health.html
There’s almost no reason for anyone not to exercise! Our bodies were designed to move around and a strong physical element has been important throughout our evolution. If you think about it, we’ve only had the luxury of being completely lazy with regards to our bodies in the last 100 years or so. Cars, escalators, computers are all modern inventions. Physical activity (even if just walking or horse riding) was a strong part of everyone’s lives as we’ve evolved from cavemen to our current state. It makes sense that our bodies critically need some type of exercise, as we haven’t yet evolved to the point where being healthy and sedentary is normal (it may just be considered normal in some people’s minds, but it definitely isn’t normal in the biological sense).
Some people love to exercise and need no external motivation to get their bodies moving, but others aren’t so lucky. While one person might think of running for hours on end or doing countless repetitions of dumbbell curls as a vehicle for incredible joy and bliss , for others it’s worse than watching paint dry! Fortunately dancing is a great way to get your daily dose of exercise and fun all in one! Once you start to connect to your own inner dance groove (and yes, every single person has this!!! None of that “but I have two left feet nonsense”) you’ll be itching to get onto the dance floor, and in the process get a hefty dose of the magical exercise drug without even realising it!
Dancing offers something for all different fitness levels. As long as you can walk, you can dance! Dancing could be described as “walking to a musical rhythm”. For the experienced gym rats, dancing with your whole body to a fast song, with a partner can provide a tremendous whole body cardiovascular workout!
The social aspect of exercise is quite an important one. Exercising by yourself at home, or at the gym, where everyone has their earphones plugged in is not the most sociable thing (some may say this is a good thing for exercise, but in terms of motivation it certainly isn’t). Humans are pack animals, and if you become part of a “dancing pack” you will have a great reason to keep dancing, because you’ll be making new friends every week and want to keep connecting with your dancing buddies week after week. I’ve made a host of new, wonderful friends and people since I’ve started dancing. It’s one of the greatest communities out there! I can now go out at night and have great “healthy” fun, where most of the people don’t drink or smoke (no judgements if you do, I just prefer not to). They are simply there to dance!
Perhaps you think you don’t have any friends that dance and you can’t possibly go by yourself. This is merely just a fear based unhealthy belief about what you are and aren’t capable of. I am not a naturally outgoing person by nature and have been very shy for most of my life but I started attending dance classes on my own (all my friends were too busy at the time). People that attend dance classes are generally very jovial, happy people that make you feel at home. They want more people to dance with!
For anyone that suffers from anxiety or depression or needs to start exercising I highly recommend that you give dancing a try! Look up local dancing schools on the net or in community newspapers or in the phone book. Often they give free introductory classes, so there’s really nothing to lose! Remember, having fun and exercising are important aspects of our health! Here are two great articles on the importance of having fun. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/to-dance-is-human/ and http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-9-practice-pleasure.
I leave you with a “fun” old school music vid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIb6AZdTr-A