Learning to swing dance is a fun and effective way to burn calories and tone muscles. Anyone who’s watched the television phenomena that is Dancing with the Stars knows that regular dancing can have a profound impact on the way you look. All of the dancers are in such amazing shape, which is a good thing given the skimpy costumes they wear from week to week. Swing dancing can improve your overall health in a number of different ways, and classes are usually easy to find and attend. In fact, a lot of gyms offer classes as part of their membership options. Below we’ll examine some benefits to making swing dancing a part of your regular exercise routine.
Build and Tone Muscles
When you’re just starting out, you’ll probably find muscles that you didn’t even know you had–as your sore muscles would indicate. Swing dancing can be very demanding on the lower half of your body since it focuses on movements that you wouldn’t normally perform, such as moving backwards and from side to side. Strengthening these sore muscles, which are most likely to be found in the backs of your thighs and buttocks, will go a long way in firming up areas that would typically not get addressed in a normal aerobic workout.
Burn Calories the Fun Way
Swing dancing is a fast-paced and demanding form of exercise. You’re constantly moving seamlessly (once you’ve graduated from beginner status) from one step to another. You can burn 300 to 400 calories per hour while swing dancing (which isn’t necessarily as many as jogging or hitting the stair master) but it requires so much concentration that you won’t even notice that you’re exercising.
Where exercises like jogging and biking rely on repeating the same motions over and over again, swing dancing incorporates a wide spectrum of different movements that can be combined in a hundred different ways in order to make up a full routine. Your mind will be so rapt about what move to incorporate next that you’ll never get bored as you move through your workout. Plus, recent studies have concluded that exercises that challenge you mentally as well as physically can lower your risk of developing brain-related problems such as dementia as you age.
Bring a Friend
Another great aspect of dancing is that it is a very social way to get a workout. Not only does having a partner increase your odds of successfully sticking to your workout schedule, it also just makes the whole experience more fun overall. For beginners who are skittish about taking those first steps out onto the dance floor, nothing cures shyness better than watching another beginner take his first steps as well. Moving from novice all the way to expert is much easier and more gratifying if you’re able to share the experience with someone else.
So, be brave. If you can get past the initial embarrassment of getting out there and dancing, you definitely be rewarded by an exercise that’s both physically and mentally challenging.