Mental Health Benefits

The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

Staying fit can be crucial to living a long and healthy life. When it comes to choosing an activity, hobby, or sport that keeps you physically active, there are an endless number of options. Some people pick something strenuous like rowing or boxing, while others choose something less demanding, like golf or bowling. Whatever activity or sport you choose to engage in, it can be important to feel passionate about it and even find the fun in it, as this can keep you coming back to it even when it’s challenging. 

For many people, dancing is their chosen activity or sport because it brings them joy while also allowing them to stay fit. People of all ages can dance, and you don’t have to be an expert to reap its rewards. Whether you dance competitively or for fun, it can bring a host of physical and mental health benefits that last for a lifetime, several of which we’ll be discussing in this article. 

Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Dancing

The following are just some of the benefits you may experience whether you’ve been dancing for years, have just picked it up, or are thinking about making it part of your routine:

  • Fosters positive self-esteem: Although you don’t have to be an expert to dance, it does take some skill to learn new moves and follow a beat. Learning how to do these things can boost your self-esteem and confidence, giving you a sense of accomplishment. 
  • Increases energy levels: Dancing requires moving every part of your body, which can help you improve your stamina and endurance, ultimately boosting your energy levels. You may find that over time, you’re able to dance longer and even do more difficult moves. After a dancing session, you’ll be able to feel its effects all day long, helping you maintain a healthy metabolism. 
  • Improves mental well-being: Dancing can be a powerful tool in safeguarding your mental health. Not only can dancing reduce your risk of developing mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, but it can also alleviate symptoms of these conditions should they arise. When you dance, your body releases hormones called endorphins, which are also known as happy chemicals. Endorphins can boost your mood, lower your stress levels, and help you cope with pain. You can even participate in dance therapy, which is an approach that uses dance to help people heal from physical and mental health concerns alongside a professional instructor. 
  • Builds strength and flexibility: Dancing can build muscle, increase flexibility, and improve coordination, all of which can help you feel stronger. This increased strength can allow you to do more rigorous dancing and keep up with your daily responsibilities without growing easily fatigued. Maintaining your flexibility can also help you improve your posture and prevent injuries such as strained muscles or fractured bones, especially as you grow older. 
  • Encourages social connection: While you may choose to dance alone, this activity often takes place in a group of other people. Whether you’re attending dance classes or trying new movements at your local dance club, you’ll typically have lots of opportunities to meet new people. Dancing can help you form and maintain relationships with other people, reducing your loneliness and isolation and promoting a sense of belonging. 
  • Boosts heart health: Dancing can be a profound form of exercise, with research showing that it can have lasting benefits on your heart by improving its functionality and helping you avoid cardiovascular disease. Because dancing engages the whole body, your heart has to work hard to keep up with the rate at which your muscles are moving, enhancing its endurance and overall health over time. 

Although dancing can be a pleasurable hobby or sport, it’s also a powerful way to maintain your physical and mental health, regardless of your age or skill level. Not only can you express yourself and enjoy a sense of community through dancing, but you can also build strength that follows you for years to come. So, next time you’re looking for something fun to do that also keeps you fit and mentally resilient, try throwing your favorite music on and hitting the dance floor. 

By Caitlyn

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