Dance: The Best Cardio You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

Anyone who tells you that dancing isn’t a real workout clearly hasn’t done it before. And I’m not even talking about barre workouts with their toning and strength focus that makes those muscles burn. I’m talking about purely cardio-focused dance workout classes. Besides being super fun (I mean, who doesn’t love movin’ and groovin’ to some killer tunes, right?), both the fitness and psychology research tell us that dancing is one of the most valuable workouts you can do. Period. Let’s take a look at why.

Cognitive Cardio

We humans are more than just physical beings; we are also mental beings. So when it comes to being the best, healthiest versions of ourselves, that has to include being healthy in body and mind. Moreover, as we age, quality of life can be just as inhibited my mental illness/disability (e.g., dementia) as it could by physical illness/disability. So if you want to have a good quality of life into your golden years, you’ll have to take care of your mental health.

Enter dance.

As I wrote in Part 2 of our six-part series on the benefits of activity, steady-state aerobic cardio has been shown to be the best type of activity for our brain health. And I’m not just talking about mental health and mood; I’m talking about the actual physical health of our very brains. Aerobic cardio helps our brains grow new neurons, more than other types of activity do. So if you’re serious about keeping your mind sharp and your brain healthy, make sure you’re getting some cardio. This can be running, cycling, swimming, or even walking. Or, yes, it could be dance. And it should be dance, at least once in a while.

As great as walking and cycling are, dance has an additional benefit for our brains: the cognitive challenge of the choreography. In some ways, our brains follow the same use-it-or-lose-it principle that our muscles do. If you spend your days mindlessly watching hours of TV, your mind can atrophy from disuse, even down to the level of the brain itself. But, like how a muscle gets strong when it’s challenged, our minds (and brains themselves) get stronger when they’re challenged.

This challenge can come in many different forms, from solving puzzles to playing games to learning new things to, you guessed it, doing choreographed dance steps. It’s a challenge, to be sure, and there might be a learning curve at first; but you might just find that it’s one of the best things you can do to keep your mind sharp. Plus, with online personal dance classes, you can easily break down challenging sequences until you’ve got them down. And your instructor will be helping you the whole way.

Social Element

Remember the days when we could be around other people? I miss that. That’s because we, as humans, need that. Strong, supportive social connections are one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy and well (both physically and mentally), and dance can play a huge part in that. Whether meeting your gym peeps at your favorite group dance class or going to the club with some friends or taking ballroom lessons with your spouse, dancing is one of the great social activities available to us.

But you can still get that social element while keeping safely socially distanced. Online dance workout classes with ZentasticFit allow you all the physical and cognitive benefits of dancing, plus, because they’re live classes, you get to have some fun interacting with your instructor. No pre-recorded videos here. You get live, personal attention for that much-needed social connection.

It’s Just Fun

Who doesn’t feel better when dancing? Your body’s movin’, the music’s groovin’, and maybe you’re even singin’ along. It’s a delight! What a great way to boost your mood. Plus, with all the poppin’ and lockin’ and hip shaking, you might find yourself shaking away all your stress. And with so many different styles, from hip hop to athletic to contemporary to Latin to ballet, we’re sure you can find an online dance class that will suit your vibe and make you feel great.

Final Remarks

By now, I’ve hopefully convinced you that dance is great for your body, mind, and soul. So enough talking about it; let’s go out and do it! Check out our online dance instructors and schedule your lesson today—a private, customized class to make learning to dance online easy and fun, all from the comfort of your own home and on your time and your terms.

 

By Dustin R. Meriwether

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