It’s happened to all of us: a beat comes on that is so fresh you can’t help but stop what you’re doing and move. Whether you prefer to move to a beat by popping, shaking your hips, or doing a body rock or side step, any and all kinds of dancing help you feel awesome physically as well as emotionally and mentally. The more you move around and sweat to the beat, the more exercise you are getting. Besides, dancing has to be one of the most fun forms of physical activity out there!
So what does dancing to the rhythm of the night do for your body? It makes your bones and muscles strong without hurting your joints. It keeps your entire body toned, improves your posture and sense of balance, gives you more energy, and helps you become more flexible. No matter what beat inspires you to get moving, dancing for 20 to 30 minutes every day will have you looking mad hot in no time. Keep in mind that the more energy you put into that Apache step or hip thrust, the more intense the workout, and the faster you will see results.
Dancing keeps the blood circulating throughout the body and gives you all the heart-healthy benefits of a serious cardio workout. Salsa moves, for example, help keep your blood pressure low. This is super-important ‘cause high blood pressure can narrow your body’s arteries, which move blood to and from your heart and the rest of your body. Healthy arteries are flexible and strong, but high blood pressure from a bad diet and inactive lifestyle can cause them to narrow.
Fats from your diet eventually build up and harden in your already-narrowed arteries, which can cause a mountain of not-fun health problems like heart attack and stroke. Scary! Moving to salsa or any beat will keep your arteries flexible and won’t make your heart work so hard to pump blood to the rest of your body. Your heart is one hard little worker, so “getting rhythm” will make it thank you (not literally, that would be weird!).
Besides keeping your body all kinds of toned and flexible, that irresistible beat you gotta move to has emotional and mental health benefits. Remembering how to perform a windmill and sequenced dance steps helps improve your memory skills. Boosts of brain power like this are crazy important, especially as you get older. It helps prevent brain diseases like dementia, which make you forget stuff. Be sure to find a beat that moves you each and every day, no matter how old you get!
Perfecting that coffee grinder move or learning how to belly dance also builds confidence and makes stress go buh-bye. You’ll feel amazing knowing you got a routine just the way you want or improved on a certain move or step you were working on. Dancing, along with any physical activity, melts away stress, such as stress from a homework assignment you’re annoyed with or a fight with a friend you’re worrying about.
Though you can always feel free to groove around your room or apartment/house, the social part of dancing is also good for you. Maybe you’ve met a group of cool people who get together every afternoon to work on their bboy moves. Maybe you’ve signed up for a community dance class and have discovered you and your dance partner have a lot to talk about outside of class. Dancing is one of the few forms of exercise that allows you to socialize while shaking it.
If you are unsure which beats you can move to or otherwise feel rhythmically-challenged, don’t worry. Just experiment until you find a base line you can’t stop locking to or a rhythm that gets your legs and hips going. The beat in any kind of music is going to help you find better health, so “dance like there’s no one watching,” as the old saying goes. “Feel the beat of the rhythm of the night” and stay healthy always!