Most people talk about physical prowess as if it left their life at the beginning of their twenties and everything since then has been a downhill slide.
You may make hundreds of excuses about why you can’t make time to exercise: Life, work, family, lack of motivation or money, or you’re too busy.
Did you know dance is one of the most complete forms of exercise?
You don’t have to be Fred Astaire or Misty Copeland; you just move to the music. Do your own thing and shake your booty.
Here’s a 2-minute video of me, aged 63, dancing and exercising at my local gym:
You don’t even have to be in time with the music – just have a good time on your own in the sitting room with your headphones or or at club hanging out with your friends.
Here are a few reasons why dance is so good for you:
1. Dance is aerobic and raises your heart rate and breathing.
2. It is generally light impact in that it gets your body to force blood into your joints which helps restore the tissues in your joints.
3. You are stretching your body and lengthening your muscles which means you will likely be less stiff and more flexible as you grow older.
4. Your muscles are using resistance to lift and lower your limbs, thereby creating muscle mass.
5. Excess fat is burning, helping your body become leaner.
6. You are reassessing your sense of balance and spatial awareness as you move your body and head around in in space.
One of the greatest benefits you experience when you dance is the increased release of endorphins (pain-blocking hormones) and raising your serotonin (happiness hormones).
Also, because dance is often a social activity, when you are dancing with others you’re socialising which to humans and many other animals is a form of sustenance.
When you’re bopping around to your favourite tunes you’re also forgetting your troubles and worries and taking yourself out of the everyday environment where we are all trying to survive.
So dance is a really amazing form of stress relief.
Also, we know from many research studies that music has the ability to repair the brain because it activates many different areas of our brain; it helps create flexibility in our neural connections and strengthens our ability to think abstractly. It also aids in memory recall so we are able to remember things better.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re raving it up at a club, breakdancing, shaking your booty at a salsa festival, taking an adult ballet, tap, disco or Zumba class or gliding around the floor doing the waltz at an afternoon tea dance, it all gives you the same benefits when you combine music and movement.
Tao Porchon-Lynch in New York, who is 100 years old, still goes ballroom dancing in the afternoons, having taught yoga in the morning and has no plans to stop.
Dancing in a wheelchair is now an official sport. Sitting on a chair waving your hand in the air in a precise pattern is voguing.
You also don’t need money either because you can put on some music and dance anywhere, anytime in your sweats or your best dress.
So spin a disc, cut a rug, throw a leg, break out and boogey, strut your stuff and shake your body.
Do you need help setting up a suitable exercise and health regime?
I am a clinical naturopath, was a professional dancer and acrobat, and at 63 I still maintain an athletic training schedule, which means I have the same shaped body as I had when I was 16. You can consult with me at my Sydney naturopathy clinic or by Skype within Australia and other countries.