Check out these articles on the health benefits of dancing.
Here are a few excerpts from each.
Source: Health Benefits of Square Dancing
Exercising to music doubles the benefits.
Social Dancing offers up the following benefits:
Calories – Dancing can burn as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. During a half hour of sustained dancing you can burn between 200 and 400 calories.
Cardiovascular conditioning – Regular exercise can lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and an improved cholesterol profile. Experts typically recommend 30 to 40 minutes of continuous activity three to four times a week. Square Dancing twice a week for two hours each time provides a large part of this recommended activity.
Sociability – Dancing contains a social component that solitary fitness endeavors don’t. It gives you an opportunity to develop strong social ties which contribute to self-esteem and a positive outlook.
Source: Don’t Be a Square — Dance!
Remembering all the calls — from “do-si-do” to ‘alemand’ — keeps the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. And the companionship that regular square dancing offers is an antidote to depression and loneliness, a statement confirmed by square-dancing advocates everywhere.
“The listening — and executing the commands — takes deep concentration. The twisting and turning are not too hard on you, but give your body the exercise that it needs.”
“Regular square dancing may boost endurance, and being able to tolerate longer bouts of moving faster may result in improved cardiac function as the heart, a muscle, can become more efficient if trained. Square dancing can be considered a type of cross training, which helps to offset the muscle loss and strength loss typically associated with normal aging.”
“It takes your mind off of the day-to-day problems,” he says. “All those other worries and thoughts disappear when you are dancing.”
“Square dancing is not as complex as it looks, he says. “We just learn one move at a time and go from there.”
Source: Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter, Longer by Richard Powers
A major study added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, much as physical exercise can keep the body fit. Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages.
The essence of intelligence is making decisions. The best advice, when it comes to improving your mental acuity, is to involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory (retracing the same well-worn paths), or just working on your physical style.
Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.
Making as many split-second decisions as possible, is the key to maintaining our cognitive abilities.
Source: Alliance of Round, Traditional and Square Dance
The moves are interesting, but the level of exertion is up to each participant. Rev up for a high-intensity workout, or take it slow and easy for a relaxing, yet beneficial, work out.
The side-to-side movement of dancing strengthens weight-bearing bones (tibia, fibula and femur), and helps prevent and slow the loss of bone mass.
**Disclaimer: We are not physicians, we are just sharing the benefits of square dancing.
If you are uncertain if this physical activity is for you, please consult your physician.**