When it comes to keeping fit, dancing is the last form of exercise that comes to mind. Though many of us gyrate and dance at social functions, we think nothing of the calories we burn.
When we also hear the word fitness, many of us have a mental picture of a group of people sweating it out on a treadmill at the gym. This perception may not be right. Who says you cannot have fun while trying to stay healthy. Studies show that dancing can help you lose weight; stay flexible while also increasing your stamina.
According to fitness expert and popular dancer, Kaffy (Kafayat Ameh), who gave several dance routines at a USN Fitness Workouthon at the National Stadium in Lagos, dancing is one of the scientific ways to lose calories. In fact, it is the best form of exercise for beginners and those above 50.
Kaffy says that dancing for at least 30 minutes a day is a fun form of aerobic exercise that help burn fatty cells, especially around the stomach, thighs and generally all over the body.
Aside from burning excess calories, she notes that dancing is good for those who want to tone their muscles and firm up their bodies.
This is great news for those who want to get rid of the bulges around their tummy.
She says, “While dancing, you are moving your muscles in rhythmic fashion at a rapid rate. This movement helps to exercise the muscles and burn your calories. It also firms your abdominal cells, just as it helps to tone up the muscles of the legs, thigh and buttocks.”
Kaffy stresses that the beauty of dancing as a form of exercise is the fact that it is one of the healthiest and beneficial forms of exercise when done the right way.
For instance, you do not have to starve yourself or go on any dangerous diet just because you want to grow slim.
Instead of going off foods, Kaffy advises that beginners, athletes or sports-persons that want to adopt dancing as a body toning, work out or exercise routine should eat balanced diets that are rich in vegetables.
According to her, to keep fit through exercise, one must eat regularly in moderate proportions.
She also notes that adding natural food supplements that are rich in protein and other essential minerals, which one may not necessarily get through food, may help beginners build their stamina.
The Executive Director, Mikado Nigeria Limited, distributors of Ultimate Sport Nutrition products, Mr. Rasheed Mohammed, says that even though protein supplements are beneficial for individuals and athletes who engage in exercises, they should not be taken in place of food.
Mohammed says that supplements are not meant to be used as enhancers, hence, the need for consumers to always take safe and natural food supplements.
“You have to be disciplined for you to get the best from food supplements because they are not your daily foodstuffs. You have to be fit to get the best from them.
“Supplements support the micro-organism of the body. They are natural products not steroids. They are not supposed to enhance performance. They contain nutrients that support your natural talents and keep you on the platform,” he explains.
To stay healthy, Mohammed advises that one must adopt one form of sporting activity into one’s daily routine.
According to him, not exercising and living a sedentary lifestyle makes one vulnerable to illnesses.
“We need to start thinking about their health. We must make critical decisions about our food and the activities we engage in. It is not about eating what you want, it is about eating right.
“You cannot live your life anyhow. You must take care of your body like you have no other.”
We all like dancing; we just do not know how to make it an exercise routine. To get the best of it, you can join a dance class in your neighbourhood or enrol for an aerobic exercise many of us just don’t know how to go about it
What are you waiting for? Start reaping the many health benefits of dance today.
Dance not only instils grace, but it also helps you age gracefully. According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, dancing may boost your memory and prevent you from developing dementia as you get older. Science reveals that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. The hippocampus naturally shrinks during late adulthood, which often leads to impaired memory and sometimes dementia.
If you are feeling tense or stressed out, you might want to grab a partner, turn up the music, and tango. In a controlled study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance and musical accompaniment could help bring about stress relief.
Dancing really does lift your spirits, according to a study in that tested the effects of dancing on people with depression. Patients who participated in an upbeat group dance showed the fewest depression symptoms and the most vitality. Grab a friend and go out dancing tonight.