Dance has been a part of human culture since time immemorial. It is true to say that man has danced, or moved to the rhythms of nature, before formal language existed. It promotes social binding and stimulates our senses. It can be magical and transforming, breathing new life into a tired soul or unleashing hidden creativity.
On a more physical level, dancing gives a great mind-body workout. It quickens our breath and increases our heart rate. It improves circulation and prevents oxygen starvation to the brain, thus helping to slow mental decline while enhancing brain power. As you learn to glide elegantly across the dance floor, you are improving your poise and grace while improving flexibility, coordination, balancing and muscle strength.
Regular dancing can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. And it certainly helps to keep us slim. Any form of activity helps to burn calories. It is estimated that a 150-pound adult can burn about 265 calories doing 30 minutes of moderate social dancing. Of course, this varies; a sprightly Latino-style dance session will burn more calories than a beginner’s belly dancing session.
Many dances forms are wonderfully relaxing. Whatever forms you fancy – from Bollywood routines to hip-hop moves to graceful ballet – dance is an easy and enjoyable way for people of all ages or with physical abilities to get and stay in shape. If you are afraid of having two left feet, just dance around the house. Otherwise, enroll in a dance class or join a dance club that meets regularly at different places. Ultimately, it is a great social activity for friends and strangers alike.
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