Shimmy, shake, kick and turn, move to the music. Dancing is fun (unless you’re like me and have 3 left feet), and being energetic burns calories. We have done many posts on how “exercise” helps your mood, your brain and your body. Dancing goes a step further (pun intended) as it not only can increase muscle strength it enhances coordination. If you add social dancing it stimulates your mirror neurons. (Read: Do you know your brain is wired to be social)
You burn about 600 calories an hour when dancing*-like an easy run, a swim, or riding a bike. One reason for this is that when you dance, you move in all directions, speed up and slow down often, too which means you don’t use energy efficiently-which actually means you use more energy.
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Mini Muscle Strength
Burning calories isn’t the only upside to dancing. You strengthen muscle in upper and lower torso as you dance including little muscles that support your body and don’t get used as much walking or running.
Memory & Mood Elevation
Your brain’s white matter acts like connective tissue which breaks down with age, causing slower thinking and memory problems. A research study** found dancing is related to better white matter integrity in older brains.
Dancing can reduce anxiety as well as promote socializing and developing connections with others. Touching has been shown to improve well-being.
*The University of Brighton (UK)
**Agnieszka Burzynska, assistant professor of neuroscience at Colorado State University study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience