Escape the Gym

Most people start each New Year with a resolution to get in shape or go to the gym more, but they rarely accomplish that goal.  Why?   Well we are social creatures and the gym is often intimidating, repetitive, and lonely, or perhaps our self-confidence gets in the way, or we don’t see results fast enough. 

Enter the Dance Studio

Partner dancing allows you to burn calories, improve strength and balance, while meeting new people and an excuse to have fun. It is a sustainable fitness activity because it is fun and social.  Instead of dreading your workout you will look forward to your dance lessons and social dance parties, or competitions, where you will be burning those extra calories by …DANCING!

Did you know?

Dancing is every bit as much of a workout as you can get at a gym or in an aerobics class.  Dancing is more beneficial in many ways:

You are more likely to stick with it!

Why?  Because it is social and it doesn’t feel like exercise.  Your mind is focused on learning or improving what you already know, so time flies by quickly, unlike those last five minutes on the treadmill.   You are not a hamster running in a wheel, so get off that treadmill and start dancing today.  You can dance at any age, weight, or time of day, so the excuses are harder to find. Dancing can fit any budget, find a group class, if private lessons aren’t in your budget, most group lessons and social dances are less than the cost of a movie.

 Dancing does a body good!

Dancing is a moderate, low-impact, weight bearing activity, that can:

  • Strengthen bones and muscles without stressing your joints
  • Improve the tone of your entire body
  • Improve your posture and balance
  • Increase your stamina and flexibility (see no treadmill needed)
  • Its good for your heart, lowering your risk of coronary heart disease, decreasing blood pressure and potential weight loss.

So if you’re tired of the treadmill and looking for a fun way to stay fit and healthy, it might be time to kick up your heels!

Dancing Burns A Lot Calories!

How many calories will you burn while dancing? That depends on the type of dancing, your fitness and exertion levels. To give you an idea, here’s a range of some of the most popular dances, based on a 150-pound dancer, of average fitness, per hour:

  • Foxtrot or Tango: 192 +/- Cal/hour
  • Waltz: 216 +/- Cal/hour
  • Rumba or Night Club Two Step: 240 +/- Cal/hour
  • Quick Step or Country Two Step: 342 +/- Cal/hour
  • Salsa, Mambo, Samba: +/- 350 Cal/hour
  • West Coast Swing: 384 +/- Cal/hour
  • Viennese Waltz or Polka: 390 +/- Cal/hour
  • Swing (East Coast, Hustle or Jive) +/- 450 Cal/hour
  • Aerobic dancing (like Zumba): +/- 540 Cal/hour

I didn’t make this up.  Arthur Murray Dance Studios spent a great deal of time and money to provide this information. Thanks Arthur Murray!

How does dance stack up against other physical activities?

Dancing the night away can burn more calories per hour than riding a bike or swimming. 

  • Swimming 413
  • Tai chi 219
  • Running 472 
  • Horseback Riding 281
  • Volleyball 213
  • Bowling 133

Fact:  The gross energy expenditures between competitive ballroom dancing and basketball and cross-country running are the same.

Dancing Makes You Smarter, really!

Dancing increases mental capacity by exercising our cognitive processes.  Frequent dancing ranked higher than sitting home alone and doing crossword puzzles to ward off Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The dynamic and rapid-fire decision making while dancing, creates new neural paths that make you smarter. Take up dancing and see what your brain can do for you!

Did I mention dancing is a social activity?

It is recreational, entertaining and perhaps a well-respected social activity in the world! 

Dance can create a social life for us, while creating the opportunity to make new friends.  We’ve all read the Facebook articles that prove strong social ties and socializing with friends contribute to higher self-esteem and a positive outlook.  So go to a social dance class or social dance party and meet some new people with a common interest…Dance