Today more and more people prefer to join either dance classes or zumba classes, as opposed to gym workouts. Not only does dancing offer people an ideal way to stay fit and active, it also improves their social and creative skills. It results in a sense of well-being, and is, in fact, the perfect workout for those who do not consider themselves to be sporty or athletic. "There are numerous benefits to joining a dance class, ranging from increasing your amount of daily exercise to making new friends with shared interests", says Piya Chauhan, a dance instructor at Viva Dance and Fitness Centre, Gurgaon. “The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise, but the participation in an art form which is routed in technique, which also gives you a creative outlet”, she adds. Besides being an aerobic exercise, it also effectively aids in weight loss.

But more recently, another benefit of dancing has come to light – it can make us smarter! While studies link to show that dancing increases cognitive acuity at all ages, there is growing evidence that stimulating one's mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, much like other forms of physical fitness. However the added benefit with dancing is that it is a fun way to add regular workouts to an otherwise boring routine that revolves around work and home, which could work like an extra motivating factor as well!

Here is a look at the top 5 ways that joining a dance class will impact your health, and also change your life for the better:

Perfect way to stay fit

Dancing is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body active, not to mention it also strengthens bones and muscles. An adult who weights 60 kgs can burn about 150 calories with just 30 minutes of social dancing! What is great about dancing is the fact that it doesn’t exert undue stress on joints like most other workouts, which makes it an ideal exercise for people of all ages, including the elderly. It offers a complete body work out to tone and stretch all major muscle groups, and works like an aerobic exercise to ward off diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and even depression. Additionally, it improves balance, flexibility, coordination skills and even posture, which makes it a true all-rounder.

A way to socialize

Unlike an elliptical trainer, dancing also comes with a social element, which makes it a much more attractive option for many. The fact that you are part of a group that does something fun together can work like a great motivating factor.

Beat the Stress

While exercising in general is good to reduce stress, dancing comes with an additional benefit. It combines the goodness of an aerobic workout with the fact that you work in unison as a group to great music, and this promotes the ‘feel good’ factor through a communal experience.

Improve level of confidence

Dance is excellent for posture and balance, not to mention it helps to tone all muscle groups and results in a better physical form. These factors alone can work wonders on a person’s self-esteem. However, since dancing is usually also a group activity, it helps to improve interpersonal social skills. This can also boost one’s level of confidence because they feel like they are a part of something good and positive. Additionally, it offers a creative outlet where one can express their unique personality in an environment that they consider safe and secure.

Enhanced brain functioning

An excellent mind-body workout, dance helps improve brain function as well. This is because it boosts memory by requiring you to remember a sequence of choreographed steps, and also because research has shown it increases the growth of nerve cells in the brain. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 revealed that taking just 2 lessons of ballroom dancing a week reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Dance Away Your Blues

Dance can transform your life – it breathes new life in to a mundane routine and can make your spirits soar, while unlocking your creativity. A study published in Circulation: Heart Failure found that people with heart conditions had better cardiac health with a mere 20 minutes dance workout done thrice times a week in comparison to those who preferred traditional cardio workouts.

So go ahead – Change your life with Dance!

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