The New Year is often a time when people make resolutions to improve their fitness or take up a new form of exercise. Unfortunately after the first few weeks of eagerness, the momentum can often wear off. Coupled with the cold dark nights and the post Christmas money shortage it can be very difficult to maintain that initial enthusiasm.
That is where dance is different! Yes it has a huge long list of health benefits (of which I shall mention later in this article) but it also has many other benefits as well that you might not get from other traditional forms of exercise.
Dance works the brain as well as the body
Whilst you are dancing you are not only giving your body a workout, but also your brain. You have to concentrate and focus on what you are learning as well as remembering the steps all whilst keeping in time to the music. Over time you will develop a greater awareness of your body as well as improving your spatial awareness. All of this helps to focus and stimulate the mind. Research now suggests that partaking in dance classes may help ward off dementia. It can also help alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson's.
Dance can be stress relieving and help you forget your problems and worries
As I have mentioned above when you are in your dance class you have to focus on what you are learning and what the teacher is saying, this means you have to be 100% present in the moment allowing you to forget everything else that is happening in your life. The use of your breath whilst moving, the music and the camaraderie within the class is also wonderful for lightening your mood and brightening your day.
Dance can help increase your self-esteem and confidence
Learning a new skill is great for building your self-esteem. The social aspect will also help build your confidence in social situations as well as making new friends.
Dance is artistic as well as physical
Dance is a wonderful alternative for those people who aren't particularly sporty. You gain the same physical benefits, whilst being able to express yourself artistically. You will develop greater musicality and rhythmical awareness.
As if all these benefits weren't enough there are also the physical benefits that I mentioned at the beginning of this article. So what are they:
A healthier heart and lungs
Improved muscle tone and strength
Better coordination and agility
Stronger bones and a reduced risk of osteoporosis
Improved balance and spatial awareness
So there you have it, dance is good for the body as well as the soul!