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Here’s an easy way to improve your health while having lots of fun.

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Do you wish there was a way to meet the recommendations for physical activity each week without having to commit to a “formal” exercise routine? If so, why not put on some music and your dancing shoes?

Dancing is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health. As an added bonus, it’s lots of fun and you won’t even feel like you’re working out! One of the keys to sticking with a fitness routine is to find something you enjoy doing. So if dancing makes you happy, you’ll be well on your way to being more physically active while also reaping the benefits dancing offers.

Whether you join a dance class, go out for a night of dancing with your friends or simply crank up the tunes at home and move to the beat, dancing can help:

  1. Build strong bones and muscles. Dancing is a weight-bearing activity that helps improve bone density and build muscle strength. This may lower your risk of osteoporosis and reduce joint pain.
  2. Improve flexibility. Dancing requires a lot of stretching, which improves your flexibility. This helps protect you from injury and makes it more likely you’ll be able to easily perform everyday activities.
  3. Strengthen your heart. Dancing works your heart and lungs, helping to improve your cardiovascular health. It requires continuous exertion, often at a fast pace, which can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  4. Burn calories. Dancing is a great way to burn calories. The amount you’ll burn will depend on the type of dancing you do, how long you do it and your weight but you can expect to torch between 200 and 600 calories an hour if you weigh 150 pounds. The calories you burn while dancing can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You’ll also find that you’ll become more toned if you dance regularly, which will make you look slimmer.
  5. Reduce stress. Dancing is a great way to combat stress. If you’re like many people, you’ll find that turning on some music and just letting your body move to the beat helps you relax and can energize you. It’s also likely to improve your mood.

So if you’re looking for a way to have fun while getting fit, put on your dancing shoes. Take a salsa lesson, dance while you cook or head to a club for a night on the town. Your body and your spirit will thank you!

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Date Last Reviewed: May 14, 2019

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS

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