A QUEENS COURIER SPECIAL SECTION Dance to a better you a guide to By Tresa Erickson Are you looking for a way to get fit, but don’t want to spend hours working out at the gym or home? Why not enroll in a ballroom/Latin dance class? Grab a partner, learn how to do the foxtrot or the samba, and burn some serious calories. Ballroom/Latin dancing is one of the best lowimpact, high-aerobic forms of exercise around. It burns more calories than most other physical activities, including running. In just one hour of dance, an individual can burn 200 to 500 calories depending upon the intensity of the performance. As a result, many individuals who take up ballroom/ Latin dancing often lose weight. Ballroom/Latin dancing provides other health benefits as well. It raises the heart rate significantly, increasing stamina. It builds bone and muscle mass, improving strength, balance and coordination and keeping osteoporosis at bay. It works the joints, increasing flexibility, relieving pain and preventing arthritis. It relieves stress and helps control lipids and blood sugar, reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other dance conditions. In addition to working out the body, ballroom/Latin dancing also works out the brain. It involves a number of steps, patterns and routines that individuals must not only learn but retain in order to perform various dances. With each dance they add to their repertoire, individuals sharpen their memorization skills, reducing their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Ballroom/Latin dancing is good for the morale as well. As individuals become more adept, they develop more poise and confidence in their abilities. They become more comfortable with themselves and with others and experience an improvement in their self-esteem. Ballroom/Latin dancing gives the entire body a workout from head to toe. Individuals who take up the activity often experience many changes for the better in both their physical and their mental health. If you are looking for a fun way to get fit, enrolling in a ballroom/Latin dance class might be the way to go!
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