The Incredible Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Dancing
If you are new to dancing or aspiring to become a dancer in the near future, then ask anyone who is already deeply implemented on what it is like. Chances are they will tell you that dancing is not only fun, but it is entirely therapeutic and expression driven. It allows you to shine your authentic self, get lost in the rhythmic tones, and showcase your creativity in ways that no other sport can. Not to mention you can gain all of this while getting in an excellent workout to advance your physical fitness. Overall, all of this is what makes dancing worth experiencing, professionally or not.
It is no secret that there is something quite powerful when you indulge in the art of dancing. In fact, no matter what genre you desire the most, it has profound benefits for your entire wellbeing and health when you decide to partake. Though dancing and health may clearly go hand in hand, the reality is that the underlying benefits and gains dive much deeper than you may think.
Dancing and Physical Health Benefits
As you may be aware, there are endless ways you can stay fit in life. From running, cycling, hiking, to enrolling in a high intensity workout program, there is really something for everyone. But dancing by far is the most inviting, as it welcomes every person under the sun. Dancing, whether it be fast or slow, involves some form of movement, making it a leading form of exercise for those who want to make fitness more enjoyable. The best part is that dancing is not limited, meaning people of all ages can partake, have fun, and get their bodies moving. So, what exactly can you physically gain by dancing, aside from an increased heart rate and physical confidence?
- More Flexibility: One of the perks of dancing is how much more flexible you become. This is because when you get your muscles warmed up and stay active, you are inevitably reducing stiffness and advancing your flexibility. In addition, most dancers stretch beforehand as a warm-up. Doing this, you will notice you become more flexible with each session if you stay diligent with it. Now, you might be thinking that this is great, but understand that being flexible also has its own set of benefits, such as supporting you with better posture, better performance, balance, and reducing joint pains.
- Gain More Organic Energy: Believe it or not, if you find that you are sluggish and tired during the day, dancing can remediate that. When you dance, you release those feel-good endorphins that give you a mood and energy boost. Furthermore, getting in a regular dance session supports you in releasing built-up energy during the day, allowing you to sleep better at night; thus, becoming a catalyst for you feeling more awake and refreshed in the morning.
- Weight Loss: This one might seem like a given, but it is still worth mentioning because weight loss with dancing is highly correlated. Of course, moving around will result in burning calories, but you may find it shocking that an aerobic dance training can burn just as much as cycling or jogging, according to a study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. The combination of calorie-burning, strengthening, and stretching all contribute to your body getting on the path to reach its ideal toned physique.
- Better Heart Health: With heart disease being the top cause of death and contributing to nearly a quarter of deaths each year, this is an organ you should never neglect. And with dancing, you can help reduce your risk. Dancing provides increased endurance and drives you to reach better heart health. Just starting out, you may feel winded and worn out, but as you progress, you will begin to notice that you have much more stamina throughout the day than you had before. This, along with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, all result in prime heart health.
The Mental Health Prosperities from Dancing
If you are someone who wants to get into dancing merely for the bolstering physical benefits, then that is fine. There is clearly a strong incentive to do so, and if that is your primary goal, then more power to you! However, there is another side to dancing that makes it so alluring, and that it is mental health benefits.
- Boosts Memory: You read that right; dancing can actually boost your memory and give you the ability to age gracefully in this respect. Studies have shown that dancing has been linked with better cognitive function of the hippocampus by reducing volume loss. It also is said to potentially lower the risk of developing dementia later in life. Since your hippocampus naturally shrinks as you age, dancing is a wonderful way to preserve it as long as you can.
- Reduces Stress: With the hustle and chaotic reality that is life, all of those external pressures can take a toll on you and raise your stress levels to unfavorable heights. Because stress in and of itself is harmful to your overall wellbeing, lowering it the best you can is highly suggested, and you can do that seamlessly through dance. Much like the mood-boosting effects it has on your energy levels, those endorphins work to reduce stress in your body and helps you to feel much more optimistic, calm, and mentally lighter.
- Diminishes Depression: Those who have depression ranging from mild to severe can benefit from dancing. It might feel like a chore at first to get out and move, but studies have shown that those who were diagnosed with depression showed significant mood improvements when encouraged to engage in physical activity and interact socially with other dancers. Between getting out, meeting others, and expressing one's self through dancing are all powerful therapeutic components and evidently valuable for anyone feeling held down with depression.
- Interconnectedness: According to a study from the University of Oxford, dancing alongside strangers lights up the brain pathways that break down that invisible wall you built up between you and that said stranger. In turn, this establishes a deep connection with others and illuminates a sense of unity. It feels kind of like that moment you meet someone new and discover that you both grew up in the same town. This connectedness leads to increased social bonds and lasting friendships, which has always been a key in healthy mental wellbeing.
Conclusion – Optimize Your Health Through Dance
“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.” - Havelock Ellis
Dancing is one of those global-wide activities that induce happiness, health, and fosters both individual and cultural expression since 6000 B.C, and perhaps beyond. As the human proclaimed art that has withstood the tests of time, dancing is inevitably very attractive to get into for a diverse range of reasons. Not only will you be able to improve your physical health in remarkable ways, but you can also gain those above mental benefits as well.
With dancing, the primary tool you need to get started is you. Your body is the main producer here and is the key to making it all happen. But remember, wearing the right clothing matters too, as the wrong material can hinder your performance and experiences. So, by adding beautiful, flexible, and durable dancing clothing from the Infinity Dancing Clothing line into the mix, you can be confident that you have all the right gear to get started on your euphoric dancing journey.
Tell us about YOUR experiences regarding the health and mental benefits of dancing. What did dancing do for you? Let us know here in the comments or write us on Instagram, Facebook or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would love to hear your experiences and opinions.