Nearly everyone got caught up in the dance craze by watching “Dancing with the Stars” this past season. There’s just something about the music, the dances, the level of competition, and the sarcastic responses from the judges. But there is also something else to be noticed with the professional dancers – their bodies. Not one single professional dancer had an ounce of fat anywhere on their body. What you saw was lean, toned, and muscular abs, arms, and legs. You probably would never think that ballroom dancing can produce such a workout, but it’s actually one of the best physical fitness programs available.
Ballroom dancing is much more than a slow dance around a moonlit dance floor. There are several types of dances involved with ballroom dancing, ones that involve twirls, kicks, twists, and bends. In fact, ballroom dancing gives you the opportunity to move your body in a way that you would otherwise never experience – not even in an aerobics class.
It’s no secret that most people looking to get fit or lose weight are intimidated by the gym. Not only are you surrounded by people with a better body than you, but often you find yourself having to wait for a machine or struggling to keep up in a class. Ballroom dancing is a great way of making exercise fun, and it’s an activity you can do together with your partner or spouse. Unfortunately, some people continue to live inactive lifestyles because they just can’t find a physical activity they like to do.
You may be surprised to learn that ballroom dancing can burn just as much fat and calories (if not more) than a session at the gym. Depending upon the style of dance, you can easily burn between 200 and 400 calories. For example, the foxtrot or the waltz provide an easy and gentle workout and will burn around 200 calories. This is comparable to a brisk walk in the park or thirty minutes on the elliptical. On the other hand, dances like the jive or paso doble can burn over 400 calories, which is comparable to an intense step aerobics class.
While walking on a treadmill or doing crunches are well-known exercises, they only work certain parts of your body – which leave you to workout longer in order to cover the rest. Ballroom dancing literally works every part of your body and every major muscle group. You are more likely to see results faster due to the challenge your body endures with dancing.
And if you don’t have a partner to take with you to dance class, don’t let that stop you from experiencing the glide around the dance floor. Many classes will pair you up once you arrive, and you may meet some great friends or something more! Most people who get into ballroom dancing have lots of fun, and are more likely to dance longer which extends the duration of their workout. So trade in your walking shoes for some dance shoes, and dance your way into better shape!