If you’ve done your MoveMe homework (if not, we’ll fill you in on this page), you’ll know just how passionate we are on bringing the many dance health benefits to everyone across the nation. It’s why we exist today!
From improving stamina to feeling more confident, to increasing strength to igniting creative thinking, from developing flexibility to building relationships; dancing has a very positive impact on your short and long term wellbeing. It can make us more productive at work, give us more energy for a day with the grandchildren and provide an escape when you’re feeling stressed out. Whatever your goal or aspiration, rest assured that taking part in dancing (the more regular the better we say!) will help you achieve it.
There are many studies that illustrate that dancing provides both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. This is due to both the variety of dance styles and content of any given dance class. Sometimes you’ll dance at a moderate, consistent intensity and pace (aerobic), and sometimes you perform a move at a higher intensity for a short amount of time (anaerobic). It is the swapping between the two that makes dance so effective in improving your cardiovascular fitness/stamina. Not only will you feel fitter, you’ll also be improving your circulation, managing high blood pressure and burning excess calories. These outcomes contribute to the prevention and management of heart disease (CVD), diabetes and obesity. Hooray!
Having a regular boogie will improve your balance, strength and endurance, coordination and flexibility, all helping to create a healthy muscle tone and postural alignment. Dance also helps to maintain bone density and is recommended as an exercise by the International Osteoporosis Society.
Studies have also shown that dance has a positive effect and impact on mental health; whether that’s lifting our mood, reducing stress or helping alleviate more longer term conditions such as anxiety disorders and depression.
So why is it so good for our mental health? Because whilst you dance your body releases endorphins – happy hormones that relieve pain and stress. The ‘Start Active, Stay Active’, found that being physically active can reduce your risk of developing depression by up to 30% and should be one of the first interventions recommended by doctors. The NICE guidance is to take part in exercise of a moderate intensity for 45 minutes, three times a week.
Dancing has also been proven to improve cognition and memory. Scientists believe this is due to the combination of requirements and cognitive outputs dancing has on your brain. These vary from rapid decision-making to kinesthetic learning and forming new motor programmes (a remembered sequence of performing a move), and from emotional connection and projection of the theme/story to counting and performing to music.
Dance has shown positive results in cases of depression and is often used as a form or therapy or meditation. Some studies indicate that dance can impact those at risk of dementia and has been used as part of the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
During a dance, and particularly a MoveMe session, you’re part of a group, a unit, a community, a family. Whether you’ve know them for five minutes or fifty years, dancing creates and strengthens bonds between individuals and groups as a whole. It’s something about being all in it together, taking on a new challenge and supporting each other to learn the moves – whilst sharing a giggle or two!
Start dancing with MoveMe!