Bored of the Gym, Too Lazy to Jog? Try Dance!

I’ve never been the type who hits the gym or keeps to a schedule of jogging and sit-ups daily. I’ve tried them mostly because I didn’t wanna look like a couch potato, but each time I tried they would bore me before I reaped any benefit. I suppose you can listen to music while you jog, or watch a movie while on the treadmill; while it may reduce the boredom of repetitive motion, it never quite worked for me. I was a chubby teen growing up.

Then came dancing. I had no fitness aspirations, just wanted to have fun learning a few new moves, and making a few friends. Quite surprisingly even for me, within the first six months, I dropped some 10 Kilos! It was just the sheer fun of enjoying music, excitement of learning new movements and like-minded social company that kept me so enticed; never once did I feel that I was performing a tedious workout ritual!

They say variety is the spice of life; it is what will keep you interested in the dance; if you’re in a dance class, the longer you stick to it, the more exciting the choreography will be. You will be looking for the next step combo, and without you even realizing, the intensity of your workout will also increase. The conquest of dance goes beyond learning new steps though; you must perfect what you learn. In this case repetition helps, but what makes it worthwhile is the sheer joy your body feels when you nail your movement – you are literally indulging in the magic of music with your body.

By combining different styles of dance you also benefit from a variety of movements that forces your body to move in different ways. For instance Samba will require you to perform exotic hip actions by involving your tummy, pelvic and lower back muscles, the Rock and Roll will make you hop, skip and jump, while the travelling ballroom dances will engage your back, thighs and bum.

Dancing, with its wide range of movements, is a source of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise, or Cardio as it’s sometimes called, benefits the body by increasing the intake of oxygen and letting the heart use it more efficiently. This helps reduce fat, increase stamina and tone your muscles. Anaerobic exercise on the other hand is more targeted, intense movements that promotes strength, agility and builds muscles.

Improved flexibility and body balance are direct benefits of dance. Dance forces your body to move in new ways, and engage muscles you normally wouldn’t. A dancer is required to continuously engage their muscles to maintain good poise, and to use the breadth of their body through extension to make yourself look good.

Any form of physical exercise will benefit the well-being of the mind, and dance goes well beyond; I’ve never once finished a dance session feeling meh! Learning to coordinate your movement with music, new ways of moving, and working with a partner or a group benefits your mind to be sharper, while improving your reflexes and coordination skills.

As you progress in dance you can allow your creativity to shine too, by combining new move patterns, trying them in different positions, or by playing with musicality.

When we dance with a partner or a group we ‘belong’. Human beings are naturally social animals; not only does the good company makes you happier, it also helps you stick to your schedule. Each dance is a performance, be it in class, at a party or on a stage. Performance is both a motivator and a source of fulfillment.

Here’s my invitation; Enjoy dance, indulge in music, the challenge of learning something new and making new friends. You will be healthier, better looking and happier before you know it! ‘

Check out our dance lessons here.

This is an article written by DanceRevolt’s Nipuna for the Sunday Observer Youth Magazine. The published article can be found here.

dancerevoltBored of the Gym, Too Lazy to Jog? Try Dance!

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