Is Dance an Effective Exercise for Fitness?

Dance has long been used as an exercise for fitness, but many people question whether it is actually a suitable replacement for the gym. After all, how much exercise can you really get from dancing as opposed to daily workout sessions with weights and machines? You may be surprised to learn that not only is dancing an excellent form of exercise, but it might prove to bebetter exercise for fitness than hitting the gym every day.

Kinds of Fitness

There are three kinds of fitness: aerobic, muscular and flexibility.

Aerobic fitness focuses on conditioning your lungs and heart by bringing oxygen into your body consistently. Getting your heart rate up and keeping it up for an extended amount of time will condition your body to work harder for longer, accelerating your aerobic fitness level.

Muscular strength fitness refers to the strengthening of your muscles, allowing them to perform powerful work for long stretches of time.

The only way to improve your body’s flexibility is to stretch regularly. Your muscles get shorter as they are worked through exercise and require stretching to release them.

Dance as an Effective Exercise for Fitness

In order for you to be as fit as possible, you need to incorporate each kind of fitness into your exercise regimen. Dancing is an excellent exercise for fitness because it constantly works every kind of fitness at the same time.

Dancing requires an extreme amount of aerobic exercise, bringing your heart rate up quickly and keeping it up throughout the entire class or dance session. If you have ever watched a dance class, you probably noticed how sweaty the dancers were. It is no easy task working every inch of your body at 100% intensity for an extended period of time.

Although you are not using weights while dancing, you are working your muscles none the less. Dancing requires agility and balance, which come from  your core muscles in your torso. You also use nearly every muscle in your body to perform certain moves, holds, spins, jumps or leaps. Whether you know it or not, you are building and toning your muscles while you dance, making them stronger and more agile each session.

Although certain types of dancing require more flexibility than others, every form of dance requires flexibility in the hips, neck, and joints. During a dance session, you spend time warming up your muscles, including extensively stretching all muscles. Think about how often a person works out on a normal basis. Now imagine working your flexibility for that same amount of time. Dancing is an excellent flexibility exercise because stretching, bending and twisting are all integral parts of it.

If you didn’t think that dancing was a suitable exercise for fitness, think again. Not only does it work every area of fitness, but it works them all at the same time, constantly. Certain dance styles are more effective than others at working specific types of fitness but in general, it is the consistency of aerobic, muscle strengthening and flexibility exercise that puts it near the top of the best ways to get fit. Plus, it’s simply fun to do!


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  • Marsh

    The faster dances like Swing and Hustle are far more effective than slower dances like Rumba, Foxtrot & Waltz.