You don’t have to be physically fit or flexible to dance. In fact, there is no need for a natural rhythm. Dancing helps build fitness, flexibility, and coordination while moving quickly.
Read on to learn how to make dance practice fun and challenging.
What does dancing do?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re dancing in studio hip-hop class or humming your favorite song in the living room: as long as your heart is pounding (and you’re sweating), dance anything. what you want. want. so (no matter where you do it) you exercise.
However, structured dance training sessions are sometimes created by experienced fitness professionals to provide specific training benefits.
“I do very repetitive dance cardio,” says Megan Rope, a former professional dancer and ACE-certified personal trainer who founded Sculpt Society, a dance cardio app. repeat and cardio, so I want to get my heart rate up. Dancing with friends or walking around the living room is definitely an exercise, even if that’s not your goal.
Many dance exercises focus on increasing muscle strength, flexibility, and flexibility. Judson MacDonald, an ACE-certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Durham, NC, and now a student at Les Mills, says dancing works most muscles, but usually involves hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves. And an international expert on development.
If you dance just for fun, you won’t get the same benefits.
The intensity of your dance practice depends on your dance style and how long you’ve been dancing. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that slower dance patterns, such as many forms of ballroom dancing, are just as effective as walking or other moderate-intensity exercises. Faster dance patterns such as salsa or aerobic dance are often suitable for more vigorous sports such as running or swimming.
Health benefits of dancing
Dancing has both physical and mental benefits.
First, you need to use your mind and body to dance — especially when learning choreography or dance moves, says Rupp. “You have to be very focused,” he said.
This gives parents unique advantages. According to a review and meta-analysis published in the December 2018 Journal of the American Geriatric Society
People with neurodegenerative diseases can also benefit from dancing. For example, the study was published in the July 2021 issue of Brain Science
A strong, healthy heart
For everyone, since dancing is an aerobic exercise, it can be beneficial for heart health. In a study published in February 2016 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Improve bone density
Additionally, dancing is a weight-bearing activity that can help maintain or increase bone density, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. A small earlier study of elderly people with osteoporosis found that dancing actually helped reduce bone density.
Is dancing good for weight loss?
All of these jumps, spins, and swings burn calories, helping you hit the calorie deficit needed to lose weight if you’re trying to lose weight.
According to Harvard Medical School, you can burn about 90-252 calories in 30 minutes of dancing. Exact numbers vary depending on dance style and body weight. A slow waltz or foxtrot burns 90 calories for a 125-pound person, while a faster ballet or acrobatic style burns 180 calories for the same person.
The study was published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
But even if you lose weight with consistent dance workouts and dietary changes, it’s best to work with a certified personal trainer and dietitian to help you incorporate exercise into your routine. Practice dancing and other activities you enjoy. target. McDonald said.
How to start teaching dance
As with all forms of exercise, start slow when dancing.
Dance workouts are tailored to your fitness level and ability. You can even dance on the couch if you want. If you have an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, it’s important, says Samantha Amway, MD, a clinical orthopedist in sports medicine at Ohio State University. must see a health care provider for evaluation. Center. Vital Center, Ohio.
“If you’re just starting out, start with small servings and build consistency so they become part of your day,” advises Roop. “Sometimes it only takes 10 minutes a day to change our energetic mood.”
Look for short courses that you can take in person or online. Many gyms and health clubs offer live and virtual dance classes, and there may be specialty dance studios in your area. You can also download fitness dance apps or search for dance workouts on platforms like YouTube.
If you don’t exercise regularly, Roup recommends doing a 10- to 15-minute dance session two or three times a week. Slow down the length of your sessions or progress to more challenging sessions as you gain strength and fitness.
Amway says if you have underlying health conditions, especially high blood pressure (hypertension) or heart disease, consult your doctor before taking a dance class.
“Also, if you have a musculoskeletal injury, I recommend seeing your doctor or physical therapist for adjustments during exercise,” he says.
Before you get started, there are a few more things you should know.
- Warm-Up Ways to Warm Up When Dancing Warm-ups help prepare the body for dancing, which can prevent injury, says Rupp. Spend a few minutes doing cardio to get your heart rate up and dynamic moves to build muscle. Hip rolls, body rolls, chest isolation, and light jumps are all good options. If you’re taking a dance class, a warm-up can be part of it. What to wear to dance practice Wear what you feel comfortable wearing. McDonald’s recommends wearing shirts and pants made of moisture-wicking materials such as polyester, nylon, or spandex, and soft-soled shoes (not running shoes). , and all the accessories you need to keep your hair out of your face. Amway says common dance injuries to avoid including ankle sprains, knee and hip pain. Rupp points out that spinach is also dangerous in dance class. They all say that the best way to prevent these problems and injuries is to wear supportive shoes, warm up well before dancing, modify movements if needed, and try new dance classes and styles.
- Make your movement bigger. As you master the footwork, increase the intensity by focusing on other parts of the dance. “For example, when you squat, how deep do you squat in that exercise?” McDonald said. – Are your hands clean and moving at full price? Small adjustments can increase your range of motion and make it harder for you to control the muscles you’re using. Side drag. Incorporate other forms of exercise into your routine. Molly Breen, dance coach at Straightline Dance Fitness in Minneapolis, recommends strength and general mobility exercises such as: B. Walking. Find more courses. You can choose the intensive or long-term version of the course.
- Provide carbohydrates and protein post-workout. Good snack options include greek yogurt with chocolate milk, granola, and berries, or an apple with cookies and 2-3 cheese sticks. If you have an appetite, try a bowl of rice, veggies, your favorite sauce or dip, and a protein source like chicken or salmon, says Jones.
How to get the most out of your dance training
As you feel more comfortable, find ways to increase the intensity of your dance.
Here are some ideas.
Nutritional tips for teaching dance
Carbohydrates should be the number one priority before a dance workout. “They are the preferred and most effective energy source for fueling muscles during exercise,” says Kelly Jones, registered sports nutritionist and owner of Student Athlete Nutrition in Philadelphia. especially during high-intensity activities performed by dancers.”
If you eat three to four hours before your dance class, eat a high-carb meal with some fiber and moderate amounts of fat and protein. Try milk-based oatmeal with fruit and nuts, or peanut butter and banana bread with young carrots and skim milk, says Jones.
If it’s been a while since your last meal, find a high-carb, easy-to-digest meal to eat 20-90 minutes before your workout. Jones recommends eating a piece of fruit, a small granola bar, a small baguette, a cookie or cracker.
Bring water with you during your workout and take at least 3-4 sips every 15-20 minutes. If you exercise for more than 60 minutes, bring a sports drink to replace the carbs, sodium and fluids lost through sweating and intense workouts, says Jones.