Virgin Active give you something to ‘Dance’ about this International Dance Day
The Virgin Family loves to boogie, and we’re certainly not alone. Recent studies show dancing is more popular than ever – helping to boost weight loss, improve muscle strength, flexibility and reduce stress. It’s a form of self expression that helps us to connect with the joy of movement.
With this in mind, its unsurprising dance has its very own day annually, on 29 April. Created by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) as a way to observe the power of dance – a universal language which overcomes social, economic and political barriers. This date also shares the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, the founder of modern ballet.
Jazz up your workout routine
Without regular changes to keep things fresh, workout regimes can get repetitive and even a little tiresome. Dancing is the perfect antidote to liven up any gym routine with a lot of different styles to choose from. There’s also been a rise in workout dance classes, which combine modern aerobic routines with a dance twist. The likes of Zumba and Barre have surged in recent years.
Studies show aerobic exercise can be as effective for weight loss as swimming, cycling or even jogging. Moving your body through dance increases your cardiovascular level, which in turn can boost your metabolism and kicks the body into calorie burning mode.
No studio space needed
For an easy workout from home, dancing doesn’t require any equipment or even studio space. Just ask our friends at Virgin Active, who have created the perfect class for those who want to switch up their workout and dance like nobody’s watching with their on-demand dance class, available through the Online+ membership.
"If you're trying to stay consistent with your fitness goals, you need to find a workout that you love,” explains Virgin Activist, Kyle. “So, with that in mind, integrate exercise and dance to make your workouts enjoyable, for me they're not even workouts anymore! Come join us as we take exercise to the dancefloor. You can shake a leg with us!"
The yogis among us know the power of a good stretch to improve muscle tension and flexibility. We often try to dedicate time to yoga or stretching to avoid injuries or muscle tension, but the upkeep often dwindles. If this sounds familiar, find more flexibility through integrating dance into your fitness.
The benefits of dance can work wonders for your musculoskeletal system, helping you to become more supple, increase flexibility and strengthen posture. So when you’re feeling a little stiff after a day stuck at a desk, throw some music on and shake it out to release tension in the body and mind.
Boosts brain power
Have you ever watched a celebrity dance show and wondered how the stars manage to remember all the new routines and steps? Turns out dancing is proven to boost our cognitive skills, which aids memory retention and improves our decision making process. This allows us to absorb more information and act quicker in the moment.
Balance and coordination
As we age, balance and coordination doesn’t come as easily. Dancing can help combat decreasing reactive reflexes and is known to improve overall body balance, stability, strength and hand-eye coordination.
Dancing is a great mood booster, why? Time for a science lesson: dancing releases dopamine – a brain chemical which produces feelings of emotional highs. The combination of moving our bodies while listening to music increases our dopamine levels as well as boosts our neurotransmitters. These transmitters carry messages from our brains to our bodies. So when we dance, not only are we producing more feel good chemicals, our body receives more. So when your body feels good, your mind does too.
A great way to meet new people
Dance classes and dance style workouts often take place in a group setting, making them a great way to meet new people and extend your social circle. So whether you already have a go-to dance partner or you are looking for a new one, you’ll be sure to find one on the dance floor.