Dance It Off

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Shedding those extra pounds can be tough when you are forced into exercises and activities that you hate. Exercises such as running or jogging can be intimidating, especially to those who rarely exercise. Swimming sounds like a good option but what if getting into a swimming costume is the first dreaded hurdle to overcome before hitting the pool? That is when staying indoor seems like a better option.

Looking at indoor exercises, we have plenty of options ranging from home workouts to gyms. However, if you are a less than active person, home and gym workouts do pose risks as you may carry out the exercises incorrectly and put your body in more harm’s way.

And while there is always pilates and yoga, people who are looking for some serious fat-burning fun may find these two too much of a stretch. For me, I prefer up-tempo exercises that bring on buckets of sweat and laughter, coordination and teamwork. Look in the direction of one of my favourite pastimes – dancing.

Groove to your favourite beats and breathe a healthier you while dancing. Working out through dancing brings more than just physical benefits. It helps you to stay focused while exercising your muscles, working your body through a buck load of coordination that improves your cognitive abilities and memory power. More than that, dancing helps in improving endurance, balance, flexibility and spatial awareness on top of building greater self-confidence and adding another skill to your personal portfolio.

Equally important to physical health are your mind and soul, and exercising helps to keep the health of those aspects in check. Physical activities often help to improve one’s selfesteem – a psychological benefit that keeps clinical issues such as depression at bay.

Research has shown that when one exercises, the body releases chemicals called endorphins. Other than its use as an analgesic or in other words, pain relief, endorphins are also known to trigger positive feelings, thereby boosting one’s selfesteem and confidence and even contributing to euphoria at times.

While most physical activities aid in the release of endorphins, dancing proves to be particularly effective in this aspect thanks to the endorphins-releasing factor called music. Just by listening to the music that you like helps to trigger the feelgood chemicals. By combining this with a good hour or two of continuous dancing, it is hard to not feel good after that.


Time to put your muscles to work and make your fats shudder. Dancing is one of the most enjoyable cardio workouts that allow you to extend creativity and flexibility while expending energy through strength and coordination and building on your stamina at the same time. If you are considering taking up dancing to shed off those extra pounds, why not consider the following.

One of the most influential types of dances has got to be hip-hop. Widely seen in movies and shows, hip-hop often involves a high level of fast technical movements and coordination, working every individual part of your body to bring out the best of the dance moves. For a good overall burn down of fats, you may want to try out hip-hop. Start out at a beginner level if you must and find your niche, which can include popping, locking, freestyling and breaking, at a later. Every hour of hip-hop dance teaches or improves your dance moves, and can help you burn about 350 to 600 calories.

Zumba has seen a great number of followers over the past few years and continues to grow, with many quoting it as a fun and energising form of exercise that brings them lots of laughter and sweat. Combining dance and aerobics, Zumba involves lots of arms and legs movements as well as coordination and stamina. Shake those hips and raise those limbs in an hour of high-intensity Zumba and you can expect to burn about 350 to 650 calories.

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