Want to look slim and elegant? Is exercise and dieting not your cup of tea? Looking for an easy and effective process that cuts down those extra pounds? If yes, then you must definitely try your hand at dancing.
Dance is an art form passed down by our ancestors that has evolved with time. Primarily used to tell stories, express emotions or as an act of religious ritual, dance has now moved on to elaborate moves in tandem with complex rhythm and beats, a social pass time, a form of entertainment and even as an exercise routine.
According to a survey published by The American Council of Exercise, health experts and fitness specialist unanimously agree that dance has evolved into a form of exercise for weight loss and physical fitness and they also approve of dance based exercise routines as a growing trend. An hour of dancing is said to burn 400 calories, which is the same as swimming or riding a bicycle, in addition to a host of other benefits such as improved cholesterol levels, slower heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Regular dancing can slow down your heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and burn fat, all signs of effective and healthy weight loss. Read further to know why you should dance to lose weight.
Different Dance Forms to Lose Weight
Dance workouts are becoming increasingly popular these days. There are many forms of dance that can help in reducing weight. It is a fantastic form of exercise and is effective in burning calories. Regular exercise might become boring and monotonous and hence dancing appears as a pleasing and fun option. However, you have to choose the right type of dance depending upon your body structure, strength and stamina. Some dance forms are more strenuous than others and you have to be careful in choosing the right one to get maximum results.
This dance form enables you to move freely without bothering about the dance steps or body movements. This is the easiest of all dance forms and can be practiced by all age groups. Apart from causing weight loss, it also makes your body more flexible. This dance form can be performed on any type of loud music and you can increase your pace by dancing anyway you like. The beats should be fast to boost up your energy levels and teases you to dance non-stop. This dance should be practiced every day for 30 minutes to lose weight. You can dance alone or with a group who loves thumping, fast paced music. It will be a fantastic experience to enjoy this dance form in a group.
2. Hip Hop
Hip hop is an urban, street form of dance that is most popular in nightclubs. The quick succession of movements involved in this dance exercises the entire body. It is a high energy workout that is good for both beginners and veterans. It has been given this name because of the fact that it takes place in the hips and waist and thus helps to firm and tone your abs. Dancing while watching a video or at a club for an hour will enable you to burn around 250 calories.
3. Hip Hop Abs
This dance form strictly uses dance moves to shape and tone your abs so there is no need to lie on the floor and do crunches. This involves isolation exercises in combination with an intense cardio workout to enable you lose fat and build a strong six pack. Women have greater advantage to cut down those extra pounds in abs and look pretty. Hip hop abs should be completed in 2 to 3 days a week.
4. Cabaret/Belly Dancing
This is an exotic art form which helps tone problem areas like hips, back and abs. Also known as “raks sharki”, this form involves slow and controlled isometric movements that help to maintain flexibility and improve circulation. Shaking the belly or lower body burns calories and helps shape up your buttocks. In addition, it also burns thigh and abdominal fat. By strengthening muscles and improving posture, it prevents back pain that is often an obstacle to exercising. Because it is a low impact dance form, it is less stressful to the bones of the feet than other exercises and thus improves bone density. An hour of belly dancing can burn up to 300 calories. Though it is not an aerobic exercise it can form part of a training regimen. This can be practiced by watching videos or joining special dance classes offered by gyms and dance studios. Cabaret increases the flexibility and fitness of your body.
This intricate and exhilarating Latin American dance form has recently gained immense popularity in night clubs and dance studios. It has drawn inspiration from the dance styles of combia, bomba and merengue music among others. Salsa basically consists of a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music along with several turns and is danced side to side. An hour of salsa dance steps causes you to burn an impressive 420 calories. Hence, it is a good choice for a weight loss program.
Zumba incorporates salsa, rumba, merengue and hip hop moves to cause movement thus giving you a cardio workout. Zumba classes are offered by many chain gyms across the country and aim to make people enjoy while working out simultaneously. No partner is needed for this type of dance. Most of the steps are easy and isolate your arms, abs and legs for strengthening. This aerobic workout is great for overall fitness. You are bound to enjoy the results as you enjoy the dance. This is one of the most demanding dance styles all over the world for its convenience in style and output. Zumba classes are also offered on DVD. For best results, zumba workout should be done at least 2 to 3 days a week.
Founded in 1969, it is one of the oldest dance forms, which basically combines jazz dance and strength training to tone muscles and burn calories simultaneously. It builds muscles during the workout through the use of barbells and dumbbells. Apart from these, it involves some classic Pilates and yoga movements which lengthen muscles while cardio boxing moves give an aerobic workout. According to the Jazzercise website, this workout enables you to burn up to 600 calories in an hour. It should be done 2 to 3 times a week to lose weight effectively.
Ballet is often viewed as a slow-moving and low impact dance form but it plays a great role in shaping your body. In fact, this dance forms demands a lot of flexibility and it actually requires strength and precision to perform most ballet positions and movements. The slow pace and posture required in ballet is very much similar to Pilates. The slow and controlled movements help to build long and lean muscles. Some ballet movements are comparable to certain gym exercises. The movements cause the stretching and lengthening of the muscles, thus providing you a full body workout. Concentration will increase the flexibility of your body parts and help burn fat deposits that make you look fat.
9. Pole Dancing
This dance form might not appear effective to most of us. But you will be surprised to know that climbing and rotating on a pole increases your flexibility and also helps you burn down some calories. A pole dance of 30 minutes is equivalent to 20 minutes in a gym. You can try pole dancing to lose weight, tone your muscles and shape your body.
10. African Dance
It is a fun dance form that generally involves a combination of contemporary and traditional African dance forms and is extremely aerobic. It introduces some great music and culture and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced dancers.
How Dancing Results In Weight Loss
1. Lose Weight At A Dance Studio
It is a common misconception that dance classes are for kids but if you switch on your television and surf through the channels you are bound to come across dance reality shows featuring adults, some of them even mothers and fathers to teenagers. It is obvious that you are going to find dance studios in your city geared towards adults considering these fabulous dancers on television are learning their moves somewhere. Take up dance lessons and lose some weight as dance like aerobics utilizes all parts of the body to give you a complete workout. A simple jazz or hip hop routine could effectively burn around 300 calories and simultaneously workout all your muscle groups. The best thing about taking up dance classes are you don’t need to be able to dance, in fact, you are paying an expert to effectively teach you.
2. Ideal Dance Routines For Weight Loss
Unfortunately, Indian classical dance has little to offer in terms of weight loss, focused mainly on hand and leg movements and facial expressions, you are bound to be disappointed if you are looking for weight loss. Effective dance routines for weight loss are mainly ballroom dance like Tango, Jazz, Cha-cha and Pasa Doble or street dance forms like salsa and hip hop. These high energy dance routines can be compared to an intense workout at the gym and often yield the same results. Ballroom dance being a weight-bearing activity effectively burns calories, improves bone density and works all muscles in the body.
3. Dance For Weight Loss At Home
For many of us the idea of dancing in a group would be embarrassing simply because we haven’t done it before. So if you are pathologically shy and blush red at the idea of dancing in groups, there’s no need to give up on dance to lose weight. Simply lock yourself into your room, put on your favorite dance tracks and move to the beats.
Dance Vs Other Weight Loss Methods
Common weight loss solutions are working out at the gym, weight loss diets, weight loss supplements and pills. Dance effectively beats all these other weight loss methods. For those of us who are easily bored or not athletically inclined, working out at the gym can be a time consuming and hard task. In comparison to working out at the gym, dance can be fun even as you listen to upbeat music and move your body.
Weight loss diets, in most cases, unfortunately mean starving your body and can result in weakness, headaches and the constant feeling of hunger where as with dance you simply burn off the calories you consume. Weight loss supplements and pills come with their share of adverse side effects whereas with dance the only side effects are the positivity it infuses into your daily life.
One important thing that you have to keep in mind is the clothes you wear while dancing. Opt for loose shirts and trousers which make you feel comfortable. Consulting your family doctor before starting any work out will be of a great help for your health. So those willing to sweat it out better wear your dancing shoes!