Want a fun way to increase your physical activity and reap other health benefits, including reduced stress? Look no farther than your feet. Ballroom dancing burns calories and works major muscle groups, but it also makes us happy. And bonus: According to some recent research (The New England Journal of Medicine), it can make us smarter too! So why not waltz your way to wellbeing and foxtrot your way to feeling fine?
- Dancing has been proven to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
- Because it challenges your mind as well as your body, ballroom dancing can increase your cognitive acuity.
- According to Jim Williams, with River Region Ballroom Dance Studio in Montgomery, Ala., The American Heart Association lists ballroom dancing as its second preferred form cardio exercise, right behind swimming.
- Williams, who has taught dancing for over 22 years, has seen many students with mobility issues gain increased mobility thanks to ballroom dancing.
- Frequent ballroom dancing can decrease your chances of developing dementia by 75 percent, thanks to increased blood flow to the brain, social interaction and the brain activity stimulated by learning different dances’ complex steps and sequences.
- Dance is considered a “moderate activity,” and most adults are encouraged to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day. Dancing for half an hour sounds more enjoyable than walking or jogging, right? And when you enjoy something, you tend to stick with it longer.
- Ballroom dancing creates a strong core.
So grab your boogie shoes and get grooving’!
Sign up for a few lessons and give ballroom dancing a whirl. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect right away. Have patience and have fun! Visit one of these studios to get started: