Dancing is a popular way for weight loss that many Australian gyms today are offering classes for their members. But what exactly can you expect from these exercise dances? Here’s what you should know.
1. What are the benefits of dancing as an exercise?
Dancing as an exercise isn’t exactly new as there are at least half a dozen workouts focused on dancing. Aside from the fact that it has all the benefits of an actual exercise – such as weight loss, fit body, better mental health, deeper sleep, and improved memory – you’ll find that dancing comes with additional pros.
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of this workout is the fun factor. Since you’re dancing, there’s really no focus on how “hard” it is to execute certain moves.
Instead, you move to the tune of a music that leaves you feeling as though you’re only playing. With this kind of perception, it becomes easier for you to stick to a workout routine.
Dancing workouts are also quite extensive. Depending on your instructor, it can involve a combination of many disciplines from yoga, Pilates, martial arts, ballet, and modern.
You’re approaching fitness from a more holistic stand point as opposed to addressing one muscle at a time. Simply put – you’re working on muscle groups, not just a single muscle. The results therefore are more symmetrical and will pop out faster.
2. What types of dancing exercises are there?
There are several exercise disciplines today that are focused in dancing. You’re probably familiar with Zumba which focuses on the core muscles and is influenced by Italian dancing movements. It needs a lot of coordination and therefore helps improve your balance.
Jazzercise is also a popular option which lets you exercise to the tune of jazz music. This is a cardio-intense workout to the tune of motivational music that lets you forget how hard the moves are and just focus on each second that passes.
Of course, there’s the belly dancing exercises which requires a high degree of flexibility along the hip and belly area. Many belly dancing performances seem like it doesn’t require much body movement – but the whole process can actually burn tons of calories in a single session.
Pilates is also another popular choice and was actually developed by someone who studied physical rehabilitation and used what he learned in helping soldiers heal during the war.
This discipline taps rarely used muscle groups and focuses not just on the cardio but on the muscles. Hence, it’s not surprising that those who use Pilates as their main dance workout walk away looking lean, toned, and coordinated.
Barre classes are less popular nowadays but equally effective. They’re actually a combination of yoga and Pilates, with more emphasis placed on the mental state of mind.
In these exercises, dancers are encouraged to utilize many ballet dance moves, which is why you’ll note how Barre workouts often include extensions, flexibility, and coordination.
It puts a lot of emphasis on posture and because state of mind is crucial during these workouts, Barre is also great if you’re looking to clear your mind after a hard day.
Finally, there’s hip-hop which may be considered to be one of the more challenging dance workouts today. There are no rules in in hiphop dancing as all possible dance disciplines are combined into something that “works” for you. Most hiphop dances are intense and rapid, much like a HIIT workout.
3. How can I start?
The beauty of dancing as an exercise is that you can do it at home. There are currently online classes or even DIY videos that can guide you through a dancing workout – regardless of what dancing style you want to pursue.
As with any exercise, you’ll need the right clothes, the right shoes, and just enough space to execute the moves you want. A yoga mat is often encouraged, just to reduce the possibility of slippage.
4. Can I do this alone?
Well yes. Technically speaking, if you play some motivational music and start dancing to it, then you’re already giving yourself a good workout. However, it is often better to be part of a group for dancing exercises.
Instructors often create intentional dance steps which improve specific muscles on equal portions. If you go rogue, you might find yourself losing the weight but not really improving muscle strength and tone.