By Rose Reisman

- Popular shows like "Dancing with Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" have brought a new life to dance and another way for us to get fit. Choose your style and level of dance and get on with it! Trust me, its actually fun!

Dancing is a great choice of exercise because its fun and you can do it at home. And since you can do it in the privacy of your own home with no one watching, you can go all out and that will deliver the best results.

Dancing is for everyone, from young to small and for any fitness level.
Although dancing is fun, it’s important to make sure you warm up and cool down, so you don’t injure yourself.

Here are the overall benefits of Dancing 
•        improve your balance,
•        improve their posture
•        improve mood
•        encourage socializing
•        improve co-ordination, flexibility and strength
•        great for strengthening the lower body
•        reduces body fat and improves muscle tone

Each style of dance will teach you and whip you into shape in its own way:

Tango:

  • Rule #1: submit to the man. If you follow the man’s lead you will learn this intricate dance in no time.
  • Includes fancy footwork and improves co-ordination and balance as well as lower body muscle tone.

Salsa

  • Mostly follow the man’s lead.
  • Improves posture and balance
  • Burns 200-400 calories calories, an equivalent amount to such exercises as cycling, swimming or power walking.
  • increases your heart rate, tones your muscles, and may even help you lose weight. Strengthens your body and tones abs, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, and arms.

Reggae

  • No rules
  • The motion of the hips, will strengthen your core and your glutes. If you go all out, you will feel your muscles the next day
  • Burns calories
  • Improves mood

Ballroom Dancing:

  • Great for hand-eye coordination and balance
  • Teaches great posture, which helps you look leaner
  • A study by California State University shows that ballroom dancers can easily burn 250 calories to 300 calories an hour.

Belly Dancing

  • Great for lower body and abdomen
  • Burns calories
  • Helps with stress reduction and weight loss
  • Some experts say that is helps with child birth, due to strengthening the muscles and the circular movement of the dance. The toned abdominal muscles and natural hip tucks, which are similar to the "pelvic rocking" taught during prenatal classes, teach the expectant mother how to move her pelvis.
  • Weight baring exercise
  • Strengthen and tones muscle groups in the abdomen, pelvis, trunk, spine, and neck
  • Helps prevent lower back problems

Zumba

If you haven’t heard of Zumba by now, you may be missing out on hugely popular and fun way of working out.

According to www.zumba.com this new aerobic workout was an accident, like so many brilliant things are and is now a fastest growing fitness craze. It’s a craze and not a fad that millions of people around the world seem to be embracing.

The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you've got a Zumba class!

Its been around since the mid 90’s, but garnered a world and popular appeal only recently. As of July 2009, the Zumba program is being taught at over 50,000 locations in 75 countries, has sold millions of DVDs.

This workout combines aerobics and Latin dancing, while
• toning your body,
• burning fat and
• assisting in weight loss
• increasing energy level

It feels like you are in a club, shaking everything you’ve got, but without alcohol.

What’s more is that anyone can do it. See if your local gym or fitness centre already offers the class.

Over the course of an hour, a Zumba class will span a variety of dance rhythms, like mambo, cha-cha, cumbia, and merengue, with the occasional hip-hop or belly dancing move thrown in. Because instructors are free to put their own stamp on things, you can get a different class in a different studio.

There are dozens more dance routines to choose from -- the rumba, slow fox-trot, square dances, and waltz. Today, people of all ages are often interested in dances associated with particular cultures -- Balinese, German, Irish, Israeli, Latin American, Polish and Russian, for instance.

If you've been apprehensive of going to the gym and pumping iron, dancing to get fit is certainly for you!


ROSE REISMAN
is an entrepreneur whose strength lies in recognizing the ever-changing needs of the wellness marketplace. She is an author, health and wellness consultant, caterer, public speaker, media personality, and mother of four children. For more articles like this one, please visit 
http://www.artoflivingwell.ca/



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