Every day we come across blogs and that tell us the importance of physical activity for good health. They also dramatically explain the health hazards associated with a sedentary lifestyle. However, have you ever given a thought to how the physical activities affect our brain? Most of the sports concentrate on physical agility, stamina, and strength. Is there any sort of physical activity that affects our brain as much as it affects our body? Yes, there is- Dance.
Dance is the language of the soul. If I can allow myself to call dance a sport, I’d say that it is probably a sport which can be enjoyed equally by a novice, an amateur and a skilled person. The sheer delight of moving your body to your favorite rhythm is unparalleled. Along with being a healing pleasure to the soul, dance comes with numerous health benefits- physical, mental and social health.
First, I will outline the physical health benefits of dance and then I will move on to the physiological health.
- The beauty of dance lies in its variety. Almost every country has a dance of its own. In fact, many countries have many dances having different cultural roots. However, almost all the dances are strenuous physical exercises. Even something as delicate looking as ballet is a result of sheer discipline, hard work, stamina, and physical strain.
- Dance has been proven useful in keeping at bay physical ailments like high blood pressure, coronary diseases, tissue degeneration, and body aches.
- Dance helps improve the balance and posture of the body.
- Dance is one of the best ways to lose weight.
For the last few decades researchers have been interested in the connection between dance and cognition. They have come to the conclusion that dance is one of the very few activities that have an effect on the mental health.
- Dance is associated with better social and interpersonal skills.
- Dance has shown positive changes for children suffering from autism, dementia, and Down syndrome.
- Dance involves use of spatial awareness, perception, and memory, hence sharpening these faculties.
- Dance can act as an emotional vent, relieving a person of stress.
- A dancer is generally a more confident person than a non-dancer is.
- Alzheimer’s patients have shown favorable response to regular dance exercises.
- Learning complex dance moves and sequence of steps enhances the motor, visual, and kinesthetic skills.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a dance type for you:
- Choose a dance type that you would enjoy. Don’t go for the most popular one. It may not be something that you’d necessarily enjoy
- Get the right dance gear- get a comfortable pair of dance shoes. Quite a few dances like tap dance, ballet, and flamenco require special kinds of shoes. Know beforehand if there are any specific requirements.
- Be extra cautious about the hygiene. Any place where there are several people working out, automatically becomes a storehouse of infectious germs. Carry hand sanitizer, deodorant, an antibacterial and antiseptic soap with you.
- Complement the physical workout with appropriate diet. Stay away from direct sugars and saturated fats. Eat energy building foods and lots of fruits and fresh vegetables.
- Enjoy the dance and forget everything else!