Bust a move! Dancing is good for your physical, emotional and psychological well- being. Whether you freestyle it or opt for more instruction in the classroom, you’ll get your kicks and plenty other perks.

Dance is a form of exercise that integrates the mind, body and soul, and it works for all ages and skill levels. For starters, it can help counteract the daily effects of sitting at a computer with your rounded spine as well as the infamous “text neck” from hunching over the phones. Dance can activate the antigravity muscles of the neck and back and help restore our posture. It also helps to lengthen and strengthen muscles and improves joint mobility. Plus, it can act as a serious cardio workout. It has been estimated that approximately 400 calories can be burned with a moderate-intensity class of dance. Freestyle is great also because you can choose your music and forget about the choreography and rules.

How to make it all happen: There are many ways to bring dance into your life.  You can check for classes at your local college or community center, gyms or if you have the opportunity, a dance studio. You could organize a group of moms to take a dance class together on weekends or evenings. If you can’t get out to attend a dance class, there are plenty options for dancing at home. Put on a video while doing a load of laundry. Find YouTube dance videos that can teach you. You also can look for apps and video games like Just Dance and Wii Fit for your dance games.

What you  need: Learning a new style of dance requires a dose of humility! Everyone was a beginner at some point. Some styles are easier to pick up than others. When starting a new class, prepare by looking at the style on line and trying some of the steps at home. Then decide some goals. Do you want to improve your fitness? Do you prefer to dance alone or with a partner? Do you enjoy fast or slow, high or low impact dance? Asking yourself these questions, will help you find a style you will enjoy.

Finally, dancing increases mood-improving hormones and elevates our mental state. And there’s a good reason to dance: just because it’s fun!

 

Pam Meyer is the Wellness Director at St Catherine’s Living Center in Wahpeton.

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