Simply put, dancing just doesn't feel like exercise. But the truth is dance offers a total body workout, using all of the major muscle groups and providing heart-healthy benefits. The benefits can extend beyond fitness.
Mind: A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that teaching the cha-cha to a small group of older adults twice a week for six months was enough to improve their memory and cognitive function on a number of tests. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week made people less likely to develop dementia.
It also has been shown that some people with Alzheimer's disease are able to recall forgotten memories when they dance to music they used to know. Scientists know that exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells to grow. And dancing that requires you to remember certain steps and sequences boosts brain power by improving memory skills.
Mood: Participants in dance classes often find that the camaraderie and enjoyment they experience motivate them to continue staying active, thereby improving health longer term, the AARP finds.
Preventive health: Physical activity increases the rate at which antibodies flow through the blood stream, boosting immunity, according to the National Institutes of Health. The increased body temperature generated during moderate exercise can help prevent bacterial growth.
–Marjie Gilliam, Cox Newspapers