Health & Wellness

Get Your Groove on and Get Your Health Back! (4 Benefits of Dancing)

When I’m dancing, everything else falls away. I’m in the moment and I feel pure joy. All the stress and worry disappear. Sometimes I’ll turn on the music and my boys and I will just have an impromptu dance party in the living room. Or, I’ll enjoy some “me” time at my weekly hip-hop class. It’s a time to simply just have fun—while also enjoying the health benefits of dancing.

While dance and stress relief go hand-in-hand, there are also more benefits of dancing. Learn more below about why dance can be a great form of exercise that does even more than relieve stress and keep you physically fit.

 

4 Benefits of Dancing

So, what are the health benefits of dancing? Dance is a terrific form of aerobic exercise for anyone. But it’s more than that. In general, studies show that dance can improve motor skills, mental health, physical health, and quality of life among a diverse population of people living with a variety of diseases including Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. [1] Keep reading to learn about four other important benefits of dancing.

1. Relieves stress

Maybe it’s not surprising that research shows that one of the biggest motivating factors of dancing is stress relief. Levels of experience and types of dance, whether solo or partner dance, don’t seem to matter. [2] The bottom line is that many people simply enjoy dancing and that enjoyment helps them to stay motivated to dance.

2. Improves flexibility and other physical benefits

Busting a move has many physical benefits. Studies on the effects of dance on older adults show that the benefits of dancing for this population can include improvements in several areas of functional fitness, including flexibility, muscular strength, endurance, and balance. [3, 4, 5, 6]

3. Sharpens thinking

Dancing is good for your brain. Studies investigating the effects of “mind-body exercises” such as dance and tai chi found that practicing these forms of creative movement on a regular basis with a “moderate intensity” helped aging adults to improve their overall thinking ability, working memory, and verbal skills. [7]

Other researchers concluded that because dancing requires the combination of physical, social, and cognitive “engagement” it can help to both improve and slow the decline of white matter in the brain. The degeneration of white matter in the brain is one of the major causes of age-related decline in cognition. [8] Dance has also been shown to help improve spatial awareness in active older adults. [9]

4. Elevates mood

If you’re feeling down, put on your dancing shoes. Research has revealed that dance and movement therapy can help to alleviate anxiety and depression while also improving cognitive ability and quality of life. [10]

Try turning on your favorite music and dancing like no one is watching. Or, maybe you could benefit from going to a dance class and socializing with others. Whatever the case may be, dancing may be just what you need to lift your spirits.

 

Benefits of dancing - Dr. Pingel

 

Key Takeaways

  • Dance is a fun physical activity that can help you build physical confidence and more.
  • Four of the top benefits of dancing are improved flexibility, a sharper mind, elevated mood, and stress relief. It can also help to improve balance, endurance, and muscular strength.
  • To enjoy the many benefits of dance and creative movement, try taking a dance class if you are able, or simply turn on your favorite music and get your groove on!
  • If you have limited mobility, you can still enjoy the benefits of creative movement by moving your body to music you enjoy as you are able.

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