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Many people dread having to exercise. Even if they know they need to lose weight to improve their overall weight, the idea of going to the gym and looking at all those ripped bodies can cause anxiety. We have all been there and done that. We are all guilty of delaying working out because something about the gym is just not very appealing.
One of the easiest and most fun ways to lose weight is through dancing! We know what you are thinking – can dancing help you lose weight? Isn’t dancing something you do at the club or when you go to a party? The answer is YES – dancing can help you lose weight!
If you have never considered dancing as exercise, this is the time to do so. This guide will cover the benefits and setbacks of dancing as exercise, dance styles you should consider, and how to perform a dance workout.
Can Dancing Help You Lose Weight: What Does the Science Say?
Experts have found that dancing is an excellent form of exercise for both those who are thinner but want to get toned and for people who are on the heavier side and want to lose weight.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adults need at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Of those 150 minutes, half should be high-intensity exercises or some form of physical activity – like dancing!
The heavier you are or the more weight you want to lose, the more time you need to spend exercising. However, it would be best not to focus solely on high-intensity exercises. You can keep your cardio to a minimum but add more relaxed activities such as yoga, pilates, or dancing!
Dancing is handy even for extremely busy people who do not have time to go to a gym. You can even do it as a way to relax from daily stress!
If there is one thing you should remember, it is that dancing in any shape and form is an excellent addition to your daily routine!
Best Types of Dance for Weight Loss
You have decided to do a dance workout to burn calories – now what?! With so many different forms and dance styles, it could be challenging to determine which one to choose.
We will give you a detailed look into some of the most common dancing styles used for weight loss to help you decide which style of dance you want to try:
Zumba is a full-body type of dance workout. It involves high-intensity activities and melodies that you follow with deliberate movements. This type of dance is excellent for both experienced and beginner dancers, and it can be done in a group or individually.
Ballet is one of the most meticulous dance styles and involves precise movements. People can take ballet dance classes or try improv ballet at home. You can pair ballet with barre exercises with light weights to get the most from your workout.
Hip-hop is quite different from ballet dancing, but it can still give people a great workout because there is a lot of movement with the entire body. This type of dance can help tighten core, leg, and arm muscles while also improving flexibility and coordination.
Pole dancing is quite demanding and one of the few styles of dance that requires some equipment – a pole. The wrapping and swirling around the pole could help people tone and strengthen muscles while also burning through the fat.
Ballroom dancing is different from other types of dance. It involves various dance styles like tango or waltz. While it gives people a great workout and helps with balance and flexibility, this type of dance also improves memory because it involves remembering steps and whole dance routines.
Benefits of Dancing for Weight Loss
Now that you know some of the dance styles you can try whenever you want to work out, you should also know the benefits of such workouts. Understanding the benefits will help you realize all the good that could come from dancing:
The physical benefits of dancing are enormous and extend far beyond weight loss. Frequent dancing can help you build stamina and improve mobility, balance, and flexibility. Furthermore, it can help improve your overall health and immune system.
Dancing has a ton of cognitive benefits, including stress relief, improved sleep, and a lower chance of developing depression or similar illnesses. Getting up and moving around can really improve your mood!
Fun and Relaxing Activity
Dancing is quite different from CrossFit or HIIT. It is not something that should give you anxiety. You might already be doing it to relax or have fun, but it could be your workout for the day.
You Don’t Have to Leave Your Home
If you find a group you want to dance with, that is cool. There are a ton of zumba or ballet groups that you can join. But the good thing about dancing is that you do not even need to leave your home if you do not want to. You can dance anywhere!
No Time Limits
You might feel like a short workout is enough for the day, but you might want to do one twice as long tomorrow. The good thing about dancing is that there are no time limits for how long it should last. You can do it for however long you want, but the general recommendation is to spend at least 150 minutes dancing (or exercising) weekly.
You can dance in your workout clothes, pajamas, or any other comfortable clothes you like. You can even do it in your underwear if you are dancing at home and by yourself. Nothing should stop you from dancing, including clothing!
No Need for Equipment
Dancing does not require any equipment, perhaps just a speaker you can use to play music. But you can also play music from your computer or your phone. If you want to pair the dancing with some barre, ballet, or pole dancing, you might need light weights, ballet shoes, or a pole, but these are optional.
Setbacks of Dancing for Weight Loss
While dancing has a ton of great benefits for your mental and physical health, there are some setbacks that all dancers must keep in mind to stay healthy. Here are some of the setbacks you should be aware of:
Slower weight loss
It can take a long time for you to notice changes in your body after you start dancing. Since dancing is not as active as HIIT workouts, it will help you lose weight slowly. This might not be the best weight loss activity for you if you are looking for quick results.
First, you should know that you can suffer injuries while dancing. Some might be simple strains that go away in a few days, but others can be more serious and take a while to heal. Injuries often happen if you are not careful while moving around or fail to warm up, cool down, or pay attention to your posture while dancing. Injuries can come from regular exercise, too, so they should not stop you from dancing to shed the extra pounds.
If you do not want to dance with a group, it could get lonely to keep doing it at home by yourself. As convenient as it is to stay at home, it will limit your socialization. But you can easily eliminate this problem by finding a dance studio you can join or some online zumba or ballet class!
Tips on Dancing for Weight Loss
Whether it is belly dancing, slow dancing, hip-hop dancing, or any other type of dancing, all of these types of dancing can give you a workout unlike any other!
Half an hour of hip-hop dancing can help you burn over 200 calories. If you try ballroom dancing for half an hour, you will burn up to 110 calories. That equals running at least a few miles daily, which is way more demanding and less fun than dancing.
Dancing can increase your heart rate and give you great full-body aerobic exercise. Here are some tips that can help you have an even better dance workout:
Always Warm Up
Before each exercise session, whether you are dancing or doing any other type of workout, you should warm up. This will help you get your blood flowing and will also prove beneficial in avoiding injuries. When warming up, you should start from the neck to the shoulders, arms, waist, and legs. Move everything around and ensure you cover each joint so that you can lower your chances of suffering an injury.
It is essential to stay hydrated both during your dance workout and before and after it. While you are dancing, try to drink at least 20 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Throughout the day, try to drink at least 100 ounces of water. This will help you avoid dehydration, and it will help with muscle recovery. You can also drink some electrolyte-rich drinks, but try to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible.
Clear out Your Area
When you decide where you will be dancing, clear that area out as much as possible. This will help you avoid bumping into things or slipping. You will need to remove all sharp objects like tables and chairs while also removing rugs or mats that could move around and cause you to slip. If you plan on working out on the ground, you can lay out a yoga mat and use it as floor covering.
This is not so much related to the actual weight loss as to your safety while exercising or dancing. Since these activities require a lot of moving around, we recommend wearing sneakers to protect your ankles from sprains. You should tie the laces tightly, so you do not trip on them.
Post-workout Cool Downs
After you finish a workout, we recommend taking at least 10 minutes to cool down. You do not need to get back to your work right away – it is wise to take a short break and do some meditation. Sit down on the floor and do some light stretching, then lie down and meditate for a while. You can also catch your breath and calm your heart rate down at the same time.
Take a Rest Day
Try doing a couple of longer dance workouts and a few shorter ones per week instead of dancing every single day and pushing yourself beyond your limits. It would be best to give yourself at least one day per week that you use as a rest day. This will give your muscles time to recover and your body a chance to stabilize. You will need to give your body time to adjust to the changes before you put it through the wringer again, especially if you are a larger person and losing a lot of weight.
Know Your Limits
Know your limits and always listen to what your body is telling you. It will take time to build stamina if you are on the heavier side. It is okay to start with shorter dance workouts and slowly work your way towards those 150 minutes of dancing per week. You will get into better shape and be able to dance more with time.
Thank you for reading this detailed guide on the best ways to lose weight with dancing. If you are still asking yourself, “can dancing help you lose weight?” – you should know that it totally can! It can improve your mental and overall health, help you shed pounds, and tone your muscles.
Remember that you can try various types of dance, including ballet, ballroom, hip-hop, zumba, or pole dancing. You can pair your dance workout with short jogs, walks, or any other type of exercise you want. But you can also focus only on dancing and still lose all your extra pounds.
Dancing is the perfect workout routine for everyone, so we recommend that everyone include it in their daily workout plan. Once you start dancing and reaping all the benefits, you can let us know in the comment section below and share your experience with others who are still considering dancing as part of their workout.
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