Dancing for Health

When was the last time you danced? Throughout history
dance has been used by many cultures to express powerful
emotions, tell stories, treat illness, celebrate important
events, and maintain communal bonds. It’s also a wonderful
way to increase your energy, improve your mood and relax
your muscles. I’m always amazed at how, after just one
dance, I am transformed from achy, depressed, and lethargic
to vibrate and full of joy.

As a meditation instructor I can’t help but notice how
dancing becomes a meditation. How easily you can be
mentally swept away. With this clearing of the mind the
benefits of meditation come forth, you’re less stressed and
your concentration and decision making abilities improve.

Physically, dancing is an aerobic activity that improves
the condition of the heart and lungs. Dancing for any
length of time also requires muscular endurance,
coordination, and balance. Other benefits include, burning
a few calories and strengthening your bones and joints.
Health experts recommend that to maintain health everyone
should take part in thirty minutes of moderately intense
physical activity five times each week. You don’t have to
be sweating and panting, but you do need to warm up and
increase your breathing and heart rate.

Why not make improving your health fun and relaxing? There
are many types of dance to choose from and a wide variety
of classes. How about freestyle dancing with live music at
the First Friday Dance Club, at the Moose Lodge? I also
enjoy the contra dance at the Lincoln gym the first
Saturday of every month. Whether you enjoy gliding through
a ballroom, twisting the night away, or moving in a country
line there is a dance suitable and beneficial for everyone.
Even babies benefit from moving rhythmicly, as it
stimulates their senses.

Whatever your age, size or condition, improved health can
be as simple as pushing play. Move to the rhythm of your
favorite music. Go on a wild frenzy! Be as creative as you
want with your body Drop any self consciousness, this is
not about how you look. Let movement come without thought
as you focus on your breath. Keep moving until you
experience the overwhelming sense of liberation and joy
that dance can bring.

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