Like any good, low-impact cardio workout, dancing can improve cardiovascular health, increase stamina, strengthen bones and muscles and stave off illnesses. But aside from the perks associated any heart-pounding activity, dancing has a cardio edge with unique benefits that actually can’t be achieved by other low-impact exercises.
“Dancing can give you more than traditional cardio,”
Five components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and muscular strength. An activity like running on the treadmill may improve cardiovascular endurance and body composition, but an activity like dancing can actually target those two as well as muscular endurance and flexibility. And that’s on top of improved balance, agility, coordination, power, reactivity and speed, he explains.
But we’re not talking slow dances here — to count as true cardio, Expert suggests aiming for an exertion level somewhere between a 5 and a 7 on a scale where 1 is resting and 10 is the hardest thing you can do. Try the talk test: You shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t speak, but your words should be a little choppy and your breath heavy.
“If exercise is not an enjoyable experience, we’re not going to do it,” And the bottom line is that dancing is, plain and simple, fun in the way a monotonous treadmill run probably never will be. Plus, busting a move can trigger the release of feel good hormones like serotonin and endorphins.
“People think, ‘I’m not exercising, I’m dancing,’” he continued. “But at the end of the day, you’re moving and you’re burning calories. It’s just as good as a cardio class.”
And, as fitness expert Tracey Mallet explains, not only will you be more likely to stick with a fitness routine if it’s fun, but you’ll also want to do it for longer. “This will push you to move for a longer period of time than typical exercise, purely because it’s a lot of fun and not the dreaded word ‘exercise,’”
“Dance inspires people to get in shape with something they love to do, which doesn’t feel like dreaded exercise or a bad chore, but fun and exhilarating.”