Health Benefits of Square Dancing

Dancing pairs you up with more than a partner. From burning calories to socializing with friends, dancing offers these health benefits:

 

  • Calories - Dancing can burn as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bicycle. During a half-hour of dancing you can burn between 200 and 400 calories. One factor that determines how many calories you’ll expend is the distance you travel. In, one study, researchers attached pedometers to square dancers and found that each person covered five miles in a single evening.

  • Cardiovascular Conditioning - Regular exercise can lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol profile. Experts typically recommend 30 - 40 minutes of continuous activity three or four times a week. Dancing may not provide all the conditioning you need, but it can help. The degree of cardiovascular conditioning depends on how vigorously you dance, how long you dance continuously, and how regularly you do it.

  • Strong Bones - The side to side movements of many dances strengthens you weight bearing bones (tibia, fibula and femur) and can help prevent or slow loss of bone mass (osteoporosis).

  • Rehabilitation- If you’re recovering from heart or knee surgery, movement may be part of your rehabilitation. Dancing is a positive alternative to aerobic dancing or jogging.

  • Sociability - Dancing contains a social component that solitary fitness endeavors don’t. It gives you an opportunity to develop strong social ties which contribute to self-esteem and a positive outlook.

 

Tomorrow night when you consider settling down for a little television, turn on the music instead. After a few spins around the living room, you’ll have so much fun you may forget you’re exercising.