Dancing can take on many forms and can also deliver a shower of benefits to both physical and mental health.
Maybe you feel most confident dancing alone at home, the volume cranked up and your favorite playlist booming.
Alternatively, you may prefer a more structured approach to dance. From more formal and choreographed disciplines like ballroom dancing to more dynamic and freeform classes like hip-hop dancing or jazz dancing, imagination is your only limitation.
Whatever type of dancing piques your interest, you’ll be moving your body rhythmically and expressing yourself at the same time as torching calories and giving your body a great workout.
Dancing provides many mental health benefits, too. As you disengage from the hecticness of day-to-day life, you’ll give yourself a welcome break from the stressors that can impact mood. This can help you avoid problems that arise with poor mental health such as substance abuse.
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With the volume dialed down on negative self-talk, rumination, and incessant worry, you may find boosts your mood and mindframe you never thought dance could deliver.
6 Benefits of Dancing for Your Physical and Mental Health
- Dancing improves mood and helps alleviate stress
- Boost your self-esteem and confidence by joining a dance class
- Reduces loneliness and rumination by allowing you engage with something positive 4. Enhance your heart health through dancing regularly
- Benefit from superior posture and move more gracefully through dancing 6. Mitigate joint pain and stiffness by moving more
1) Dancing improves mood and helps alleviate stress
A robust body of research shows that physical exercise can improve mood, and also alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. A study in The Arts in Psychotherapy, an evidence-based journal, shows that dance movement therapy achieves these aims.
Whether you dance energetically at home with the blinds drawn or at a local dance class, you’ll find dancing increases levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) associated with mood.
Hit the dance floor, then, and you’ll bust stress levels, while also feeling happier and less anxious.
2) Boost your self-esteem and confidence by joining a dance class
Dancers typically report high levels of confidence and self-esteem. If you become interested in a form of dance and practice to the point of mastery, this can help you to feel more confident in other areas of life.
As an added kicker, by joining a dance class, you will also derive many secondary mental health benefits, including increased socialization. If you are unable to access a physical dance class, you have many virtual options with online dance classes readily available for all forms of dance. It takes two to tango, after all.
3) Reduces loneliness and rumination by allowing you engage with something positive
Do you find yourself spending more time alone than you would like? If so, perhaps you often ruminate, worrying about things you can’t control, or endlessly rehashing things in the past you can do nothing about either.
Engaging with a dance class will connect you with a like-minded social network, and while you are focused on the class and expressing yourself through the medium of dance, your mind has no time to wander down dead alleys.
4) Enhance your heart health through dancing regularly
Of all the physical gains dancing can provide, improved heart health is perhaps the most beneficial for your overall health.
The constant movement required when you’re dancing will strengthen cardiovascular functioning. The quicker you dance, the quicker your heart needs to beat.
Strengthening your heart will not only delay or prevent heart problems from plaguing you in later life, but you could also lower your risk profile for many chronic diseases.
5) Benefit from superior posture and move more gracefully through dancing
If you see a professional dancer walking, they seem like they are gliding across the floor. This study shows that a 3-month program of Zumba-based exercise improves flexibility, as well as endurance, strength, and aerobic capacity.
So, become more graceful and agile over time as you practice coordinated dance moves.
6) Mitigate joint pain and stiffness by moving more
Per the CDC, one-quarter of all adults in the United States have arthritis. Research shows that seniors experiencing arthritis-related knee and hip pain participating in a 3-month low-impact dance program not only reported improved mobility but were also able to reduce their use of pain medication.
Mens sana in corpore sano: a healthy mind in a healthy body. This ancient maxim is still relevant today, so do all you can to improve both your physical and mental health, and do so by engaging in an activity that’s intrinsically enjoyable.