The Health Benefits of Dance

Improve cardio

Dance is more than just an art, it can be a real workout too! It requires muscular endurance, which can improve your cardiovascular system. According to one study that looked at overweight and obese elementary school children, dance lowered the risk for cardiovascular disease significantly. But these benefits aren’t just for kids! According to the Mayo Clinic, an adult resting heart rate is approximately 60 to 100 beats per minute, but this pace increases when you exercise — particularly with aerobic workouts like dance. A faster heart rate pumps more blood to the lungs to gather oxygen for transport to tissues in your body. This can keep the heart well-conditioned and reduced your risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Shed a Few Pounds

Dancing can be a fun way to help you lose weight or just stay in shape. While dancing may not feel like exercise, it actually offers a total body workout that uses all of the major muscle groups. A single one hour class can burn up to 600 calories, and having fun while you’re at it may encourage you to push yourself farther. And if you choose to do additional exercise on top of your dance classes, you may find that you lose weight at a much faster and steadier rate.

Increase Your Strength, Endurance and Flexibility

A ballerina may look delicate, but she is actually very strong. Professional dancers must learn to control every muscle in their bodies in order to complete difficult postures and jumps. But these postures can improve the strength and muscle tone of dancers of all skill levels. Dance is aerobic, which means it uses resistance to improve strength, balance and flexibility. Balance tends to come from the core, which may also help to flatten the abdomen. Warm-ups with stretching are typically the start to any dance class. This helps improve flexibility and a dancer’s range of motion, which can lead to fuller-looking muscles. Because dance involves quite a bit of balance, it may also help you to improve coordination and body awareness.

Stand Up Straight and Strengthen Your Bones

Dance requires good posture to perform the moves properly. If your posture isn’t the best, you can learn how to improve your posture through dance. Bad posture can lead to a weakened spine, back pain, increased stress, issues breathing — and may even impact your confidence. Remembering to roll your shoulders back and lift your chin and chest up can improve your natural posture, leading to a more balanced and healthy musculature, eliminating back pain and improving breathing. Because dancing improves strength and flexibility, it also may keep your muscles and joints healthy. Weight bearing exercises cause new bone tissue to form, which makes bones stronger. The National Osteoporosis Foundation cites dance as a great high-impact, weight-bearing exercise that builds strong bones.