Pump Up The Jam – and your Health with It

Dance-based workouts started going big with aerobics some 40 years ago and have been growing in number and popularity ever since. Jazzercise, Zumba, LaBlast, Doonya, Hip Hop Fit and other genre-based brands have successively jumped onto the scene as cardio alternatives for those who don’t like running, biking and the like.

Belly-dancing, barre and even pole-dancing workouts also have picked up devotees for strength and toning.

Whatever your needs are there’s a dance format for you — even busting a bunch of moves in your living room or at your favorite club will get your health groove on! Here’s what you stand to gain:

  • A stronger heart — Getting your heart rate up for 20 or 30 minutes at a time teaches your body to circulate blood and oxygen more efficiently, building up your stamina and increasing the amount of oxygen your body can inhale and employ.
  • More balance and coordination — Dancing requires you to move on multiple planes of motion, often simultaneously. Rotating, extending, flexing, dancing, jiving, having the time of your life over and over again improves your coordination and stability, protecting you against falls and other injuries.
  • A quicker brain — Learning new dance routines strengthens the connection between your mind and muscles, teaching you to move with more fluidity and agility. Movement also boots brain function, relieves stress and can help protect against dementia, especially when combined with social support.
  • Better bones — Weight-bearing exercises force your bones to keep rebuilding themselves, a process that helps everyone regardless of age. Kids who take ballet or other dance lessons have been shown to have superior bone mineral density, and dancing in adulthood is a lower-impact form of exercise that can help keep osteoporosis at bay.
  • Fewer pounds — Nearly everything about dancing, especially to fast-paced music, can contribute to weight loss. Calories are torched to the tune of 90 to 200 or more per hour, squats and jumps dispense with stored fat, and all of it helps you build lean muscle mass and rev up your metabolism.