When you think of dance exercise videos, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s your mom or sister dancing around the living room in one of the fabulous workout outfits from the 80s (leg warmers and leotard, of course), or maybe it’s Richard Simmons’ fun and quirky videos from the 90s. While we might look back on the videos now and laugh at the hair styles, choreography, and fashion, dance workouts and dance exercise videos have stood the test of time for a reason: they’re incredibly effective and they’re fun! Today, online fitness communities like Body FX have taken the concept of traditional dance class videos and combined them with personalized nutritional coaching, online support groups, and more to provide better results than even Jane Fonda could have imagined. Here’s how dance exercise videos can help you on your fitness journey.
Dance Exercise Videos Train Your Body and Your Brain
All forms of exercise have a physical component, but dance can actually help whip both your body and mind into tip-top shape. Dance exercise videos can help train your body and your brain in eight major ways:
- Total Body Workout: One of the best things about dance is that it’s a total body workout, so you can tone your entire body and lose fat just by dancing. Dance exercise videos get your body moving in all different directions and incorporate every major muscle group. Compare that to working out on the elliptical, which focuses on just a few muscle groups. Whether you’re looking to see improvement in your core, upper body, or lower body, you’ll get it all during dance exercise videos. The great thing about dance cardio is you can get in a good HIIT workout that’s also low-impact.
- Avoid Injury: Some traditional forms of exercise, like running or cycling, require a great deal of repetitive motion. Effectiveness of these exercises aside, repetitive motions increase the strain on certain muscle groups and joints, making it easy to develop overuse injuries, especially when you’re first getting started with working out. Nothing is more discouraging than starting to exercise in an attempt to get healthy and then ending up on the sidelines with an injury instead. Unlike repetitive forms of exercise, dance will get your body moving in every direction and incorporate all of the major muscle groups. By not focusing too much on any one muscle group or part of the body, dance helps avoid overuse injuries.
- Brain Health: Dancing is not only good for your body, it’s also good for your brain. A 2017 study showed that white brain matter, which influences our processing and memory abilities, increased in adults who danced regularly, helping to reduce cognitive decline in aging adults. In addition to staving off cognitive decline, dancing also offers social benefits, even when done in the comfort of your own home. Studies have shown that dancing improves confidence in people suffering from social anxiety. If you don’t love the idea of dancing in front of other people, you can still find accountability and friendship through online fitness communities like Body FX provide not only workouts.
- Boost Your Mood: Dancing can help improve your mood and lift your spirits while it’s getting your brain and body healthy. Studies have shown that dancing helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improves mood in people suffering from these conditions. You’ll get the rush of endorphins thanks to the exercise component and a lifted mood thanks to all of the fun you’ll be having.
- Stronger Core: If you’re looking to improve your spinal health and get some abdominal definition in the process, dance exercise videos can definitely help. Dance works the entire core, including all of the parts we don’t always focus on, like your transverse abdominis (the deep layer of the core), rectus abdominis (the six-pack), internal obliques, external obliques, and your back. Because dance mimics the natural movement of the body, it is less likely to result in overuse injuries and serves as a type of functional fitness. Regardless of how natural dancing may be, you should still warm up before starting any workout, whether you’re lifting weights, dancing, or heading out for a run.
- Improve Flexibility: One of the best things about dancing is that it will improve your flexibility without requiring dedicated stretching. As you dance, your body will move through its entire range of motion and stretch in all different directions. Compared to more repetitive forms of exercise, like running, dancing is likely to increase your flexibility, while more repetitive forms of exercise are likely to reduce it.
- Strengthen Your Stabilizing Muscles: When we exercise, we tend to focus on building muscle in the major muscle groups we’re familiar with, like the quads, triceps, and shoulders. While weight training is an important part of a fitness regimen, it ignores the small stabilizing muscles that we usually forget about, including those in the feet, legs, and core. Strengthening the stabilizing muscles helps to improve balance and stability, helping to reduce the risk of injury and dangerous falls as we age.
- Have Fun: It doesn’t matter how effective a workout is if you can’t stand doing it, because consistency is the most important key to long term success on your fitness journey. Dance is fun and is likely to boost your mood, so you’ll look forward to it rather than dread it at the end of a long day.
It’s Easy to Maximize Your Results
When you’re getting started with a new workout routine, there’s nothing worse than trying to do something that feels overly complicated. Let’s face it: walking into a gym and trying to figure out which weights and machines to use and how best to maximize your time can be intimidating, and with plenty of other obstacles standing between you and fitness, that’s the last thing you need. Cardio dance workout videos make it easy to maximize your results without a lot of thinking and planning on your part.
- Boost Your Knowledge: If you’re focusing on certain trouble spots and your major goals include toning your body and increasing your strength, learning more about your anatomy and the different muscle groups in the body can help by allowing you to choose a dance cardio workout video that targets an area where you’d like to see progress. For example, we already know that dancing provides a great core workout, but if you’re really wanting to focus on getting six-pack abs, you might try belly dancing or salsa, which incorporate more twisting and turning to wring out your core. As you learn more about your anatomy, you’ll also be able to avoid certain styles of dance that might reaggravate old injuries, such as ballet or barre for people with ankle issues or hip-hop for people with conditions that are aggravated by a lot of impact.
- Supplement Your Workouts: If you notice parts of your body feeling unexpectedly sore after a dance workout, you can use this information to help you figure out which areas to target with simple strengthening exercises. For example, if your feet or ankles feel sore, you might incorporate movements with a resistance band to stretch and strengthen the calves and ankles. Doing these small movements will help you move through a fuller range of motion as you dance and boost your strength and power.
- Fuel Your Body: As you start dancing, you may notice an increase in your stamina and strength but not see much of a drop on the scale. While that can be frustrating, the reality is that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and your eating habits will catch up with you if you continue to feed your body junk. It’s easy to maximize your results from dance videos by focusing on fueling your body instead of simply feeding it. Try and focus on incorporating plenty of fruits and veggies, lean meat, and whole grains to make sure you have the energy you need for your workouts. If you fill up on the good stuff, you’ll naturally start limiting your junk food intake.
- Stay Hydrated: There’s no doubt that you’ll work up a sweat while you’re out dancing, so staying hydrated all day long is important. It’s not enough to simply drink a bottle of water during your workout; you should be drinking eight to ten glasses of water per day, plus additional water during your workout. In addition to helping make sure you’re hydrated for workout, you’ll also help your weight loss by flushing out excess sodium and ditching water weight, if weight loss is a goal of yours.
- Mix it Up: It’s a great idea to start with a style of dance and music that you love, but eventually, you’ll benefit from mixing it up.Some popular dance fitness styles include bollywood dance, latin dance, belly dance, and line dancing. As we’ve already established, different types of dance may focus more heavily on certain parts of the body than others, so you’ll boost your results as you work a variety of muscles. There are plenty of dance exercise videos that incorporate songs from a variety of genres to help you get fit and work every muscle group during the video.
Dance exercise videos are a fantastic way to get fit and have fun, and using them can help you on your fitness journey in many ways.