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September 17, 2010 at 12:00 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Fitness Trend: Dance Exercise

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

"Dance constitutes a true recapturing of... freedom and childish play." -Agnes de Mille, 20th Century American Dancer

The growing trend of being proactive in fitness and the enjoyment of dancing have blended to form an exciting new way to exercise. If you enjoy dancing, there are several ways to turn your dance steps into a great workout that burns calories, restores flexibility, and tones your body at the same time. These are some of the most popular dance-exercise routines.

Dancing Aerobics

Aerobics have long been considered an explosive way to improve the cardiovascular system. The constant motion is never boring, and switching from one exercise to the other provides an effective overall workout. So, what happens when aerobics are combined with dancing? There are essentially three forms of dancing aerobics:

#1 Low-Impact Low-impact routines feature relatively little strain on the feet and lower extremities. During this type of dance, one or both feet are touching the floor at all times. A reduced risk of joint injuries is a major benefit of low-impact dancing aerobics. However, the slower pace also lessens the effect of the aerobics part of the routine.

#2 High-Impact High impact dancing aerobics are much more aggressive and designed to maximize the results of an aerobic workout. The person's feet do not have to be on the floor, though landings might increase the risk of injuries or sprains. With proper footwear and a shock-absorbing floor, these injuries can be significantly lowered.

#3 Combination-Impact For an awesome dancing aerobics routine that is right in the middle, the combination of low and high-impact exercises is the most recommended option. This dance has a warm-up period that utilizes the low impact routine, and then transitions to the high impact exercises. Through the combination of both types, less injuries and greater intensity are achieved.

Zumba

A recent craze in the dance and exercise worlds is Zumba, an easy to learn and perform, fast-paced workout set to the tone and tempo of Latin-style music. The steps are based on movements that slow down and speed up according to the rhythm and the dancer's body. Zumba's intent is to deliver a cardio workout that also burns calories and tones muscles, with long and short term results. People love to get involved with an exercise program that not only involves dance, but allows them to listen and learn dances to current popular dance music

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Belly Dancing

Besides burning fat and firming muscles, belly dancing adds the tightening of the midsection to its routine. Contracting the abdominals and moving the belly strengthens those muscles simultaneously. It is a low impact form of dancing that claims to relieve back pain and correct posture inconsistencies. Belly dancing tends to attract women, and happily incorporates a feminine flair. Many people enjoy belly dancing as not only exercise, but an observance of a very old cultural tradition.

General Dancing

Just about every dance will help you stay mobile and manage your weight. To receive additional benefits from your next routine, try incorporating stretching exercises and hold the positions of the stretches. This will improve your overall balance while keeping your muscles and joints prepared for the remainder of the routine. When it comes to dancing, there are countless moves, and it's up to you to design a program that works towards your goals. At least 30 minutes of physical activity per day performed four to five times each week is the basic recommended amount of exercise. Be sure to check with a physician or personal trainer to select the dances that match your individual situation and fitness level.

Sources: http://www.thehealthcarecenter.com/aerobics_exercise_routine.html

http://www.learntodance.com/health%20benefits%20of%20dance.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2009-mchi/5168.html

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2 Comments

  • Whenever I dance I do feel like I'm running a marathon without realizing it till I'm heavy breathing.

  • Sounds like a blast! I feel great when I am dancing, the fluid movements and energy created make me feel warm and livlier to do even more of it with friends.Way fun exercise! Thanks for the tip!!

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