10 Health Benefits of Dancing

10 Benefici del Ballo per la Salute

Dancing is certainly fun and enjoyable, but did you know that there are many health benefits associated with this activity?

Constant movement is not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental well-being! We have 10 great reasons to keep dancing (even if you think you're uncoordinated or amateurish).

Dancing can lead to:

1. Better brain health
A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing can boost memory and even prevent the onset of dementia. Other studies have also found that aerobic dance exercises can reverse volume loss in the part of the brain that controls memory (the hippocampus), which tends to shrink during late adulthood. Taking the time to remember the steps and changing movements of a dance is also a great way to challenge your brain, no matter your age. Scientists have found that cognitive skills such as planning and organization also improve with exercise such as dancing.

2. Greater flexibility
The movements associated with dancing can increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. Don't push yourself too hard, though: Even the simple stretches associated with dancing can help relieve joint pain and any soreness from other, more strenuous exercises.

3. Minimized stress
A study conducted by the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that partner dancing accompanied by music can relieve stress. Other studies have also shown similar results, some of which indicate that dancing can increase levels of the hormone serotonin, which can improve mood.

4. Reduced depression
A study on the effects of dancing on depressed patients found that those who participated in an upbeat group dance showed the fewest symptoms associated with depression and were consequently more energetic and optimistic.

5. Weight loss
Increased movement usually also means increased weight loss. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that aerobic dance training can help you lose as much weight as cycling or jogging.

6. Increased energy
Research conducted by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition found that a weekly dance program can improve adults' physical performance and increase their energy levels.

7. Improved cardiovascular health
Naturally, the faster you dance, the faster your heart will beat, which can lead to a stronger, healthier heart. An Italian study found that people with heart failure who took up waltzing had much better heart health, breathing and quality of life than those who simply cycled or walked on a treadmill.

8. Better strength, balance and coordination
Dancing requires a lot of fast movements and good posture, which can help you gain better control of your body. Additionally, there are 3 primary planes of motion; Unlike simple movements like walking or cycling, which only involve the sagittal plane of the body, dancing works the body in all planes, meaning ALL muscles are involved, not just some. If you're afraid of falling when you're older, dancing can also alleviate some of these worries. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity showed that tango dancing can improve balance among older adults.

9. Improved social and emotional health
A dance class is a great way to make new friends and expand socially! Having positive relationships is an important factor that contributes to improved mental health: it can increase feelings of happiness, reduce stress and even lead to a stronger immune system.

10. Greater self-esteem and confidence
Studies show that dancers tend to report higher levels of self-esteem and greater confidence. Dancing can be beneficial for people of all ages. Many forms, such as ballroom dancing, can be tame enough for people with limited mobility or chronic health problems, while other forms can allow children to express themselves freely, release their energy, and practice discipline by memorizing and learning certain steps.

So, turn up the music, listen to your favorite song and start moving! Make dancing part of your overall health and wellness routine.

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