If you hate the treadmill but love the tango, I have great news for you. Social dancing in not only fun, it’s also really good for you. All you have to do is watch Dancing with the Stars, and you’ll want to get your own hips moving. Who doesn’t want to move like that?

While the foxtrot may not be as physically intense as your Body Pump class, it’s good for your body and mind. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, social dancing keeps your mind sharp. This isn’t surprising to anyone who’s taken dance lessons – there’s a lot to remember!

And it’s a great way to spend your Friday nights. They call it ‘social’ dance for a reason: it’s an exciting way to connect with your significant other and meet new friends.

Why Dance?

There are many reasons to get your cha-cha on, and we can boil them all down to four categories:

1. It burns a lot of calories!

An hour of salsa dancing can burn around 400 calories.  If you watch Dancing with the Stars, you’ll notice that many lose a significant amount of weight over the course of a season.

2. It’s healthy.

Regular aerobic activity, like dancing, lowers your blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart disease. It also strengthens the bones in your lower extremities and builds endurance so you’ll have more energy for your everyday schedule.

3. It helps you age gracefully.

The study I mentioned above found that seniors who dance were less likely to develop dementia over five years than inactive seniors were. It also enhances flexibility and improves balance, which will reduce the risk of falling.

4. You’ll love it!

Dancing puts a smile on your face. Besides being fun to do, vigorous physical activity helps to relieves stress and may fight depression. And watching yourself advance in any discipline will do wonders to improve your confidence!

Think Before You Swing

Nearly everyone has at least one physical limitation.  Like any other form of exercise, you need to listen to your body.  If it hurts, modify the movement.

Also remember that social dance is a healthy addition to your healthy living program.  Please continue your cardio and strength training regimen.

Just Dance!

So if you love to dance, what’s stopping you?  It’s time to start this healthy habit. Best of all, it’s one you can do for the rest of your life.

So check online or grab your local Yellow Pages to find classes in your area. Your body and mind will thank you!  You’ll have so much fun, you won’t even call it exercise!

Move to the music,


Originally published in GO, GlobalFit’s online healthy living newsletter.”  http://www.globalfit.com/gonewsletter/default.asp