Dancing Your Way To A Fitter You

So you want to work out but really dislike the gym and the weight room. Or maybe you are looking for a way to get your heart in better health but aren’t a runner and hate the treadmill.

Maybe you want to lose those few extra pounds but are bored with the conventional methods of working out. Dance your way to a fitter you! That’s right, dance!

Studies have shown that dancing can burn as little as 500 calories per hour and as much as 1000 calories per hour. Dance is something that both men and women of really any age can do.

hip hop

( photo by tgspro )

The more physically fit you are the higher intensity you can take your dance routine to and if you are older or in less than desirable shape you can model your dance routine around that.

Dance as a fitness regime has many other benefits as well. Incorporating dance into your fitness regime or using dance entirely as your means to better health will also greatly increase your flexibility.

An increased flexibility will have numerous health benefits including blood flow and muscle tone. Any sort of dance routine will begin with a warm up which is structured to ‘warm up’ your muscles.

At the end of a dance routine is the ‘cool down’ which is when you stretch. Stretching when your muscles are warm from your workout is when you will get the most stretch and flexibility out of them.

Dance makes you stronger and we all know stronger bones and body means stronger and better quality of life. Additionally, the stronger you are means the more muscle mass you have as compared to fat cells and the more muscle mass you have means your metabolism will increase. An increased metabolism will result in loss of weight and increased energy.

( photo by leslie Christopher )

A sense of well-being will come over if you can  incorporate dance into your life. Depending upon which style of dance and what venue you decide to proceed with your dancing you could turn it into a very social affair.

Being involved with a group such as this and meeting new people who all have the same passion will only be a positive experience and increase your self-esteem.

Additionally, you are much more apt to stick to a fitness program if you love it, have fun, and look forward to seeing your friends! Even if you decide to proceed with a dance program in your own living room in front of your TV you will still feel the positivity it will bring to your life, the sense of well-being dance will promote and the self-esteem it will lift.

As we all know working out decreases our stress and tension and increases feelings of productivity, success and positivity.

While doing all this if you choose the route of a dance based workout program you will also build up your endurance like you never thought possible!

Think about all those times you were on the elliptical machine for five or ten minutes and you look at the person next to you and they’ve been on their elliptical machine for 4 or five or ten minutes and you look at the person next to you and they’ve been on their elliptical machine for 45.

You are having difficulties breathing after five or ten! This is what we mean when we refer to endurance. Through dance you will build your endurance so the next time someone drags you to the gym with them you will notice a complete difference on the cardiovascular equipment.

What kinds of dance are available for dance based workout programs? The extremely popular Zumba which has spread across the world like wildfire is by far one of the most popular if not the most popular dance based workout program.

zumba dancing

Tae-Bo is for fitness, in that it is a boxing-based fitness program, Zumba is also for fitness, in that it is a dance-based fitness program. With Zumba you can literally burn upwards of 1000 calories in an hour long class!

Some other organized forms of dance you could take are salsa[salsa dance], hip hop, and the oldie-but-goodie that has been revived, Jazzercise.

If you are turned off from organized classes and the gym altogether you can proceed with your dance based fitness program in your own living room.

There are hundreds of DVDs on hip hop, Zumba, salsa, cha-cha, ballroom and many other types of dance. There are even DVDs that teach you a routine. So, the entire 45 minute long DVD will teach you a routine that you will then perform at the end.

ballroom dance

( photo by cpdancesport )

And, you could use that dance routine to jump into anytime you had a free moment and wanted to get your heart rate up during the day.

Carmen Elektra has a dance routine DVD where she teaches the viewer a one-minute and thirty second dance routine. She teaches it in steps throughout the DVD and it ends up being a good 45 minute workout.

Who doesn’t love dancing? Even if you have two left feet and hate wedding receptions because you’re scared your Great Aunt Wilma might try to drag you onto the floor, you can still dance and have fun while in the privacy of your own home.

And while having fun you are increasing your cardiovascular health, toning and giving your heart, body and mind an overall facial!