Are you like most New Englanders wallowing in the too-early darkness of Daylight Savings? Do you just want to crawl under a rock or pull the bed covers up over your head? Don’t do it. Instead of hibernating, you should be dancing. Yeah.
Time Magazine calls dancing the best thing you can do for your body. Rockin’ out on the dance floor (or even just strolling) burns as many as 300 calories per half-hour. This caloric expenditure is comparable to running or swimming.
“Dancing demands a lot of energy output because it involves “movement in all directions,” says Nick Smeeton, a principal lecturer at the University of Brighton…While running, swimming and other propulsive forms of physical activity use rhythm and momentum to keep you moving, “there is a lot of accelerating and decelerating in dancing, which the body is less able to do in an energy efficient way,”…If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city…All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.” (http://time.com/4828793/dancing-dance-aerobic-exercise)
But it’s not just the cardiovascular fitness, increased circulation, or reduced stress that make dancing good for you.; it’s good for cognitive function! Psychology Today tells us, “Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels. Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/why-is-dancing-so-good-your-brain)
Here are some other great reasons why you should be dancing:
- Anyone can do it
- It’s fun
- Dancing improves your balance and coordination
- It requires little or no equipment
- Dancing can curb anxiety
- It is a proven mood booster
So rather than dread the darkness of Daylight Savings, take advantage of it and go dancing! You know you should be dancing. And while you’re out there boogying to beat the band, remember to hydrate!