Dance has incredible healing and therapeutic effects. There have been countless decades worth of research on the myriad ways dance improves our lives. Like many other physical activities, dance can improve your balance and coordination, enhance your memory, and help you relieve stress. Recently, researchers also discovered that dance can be useful when trying to control symptoms of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Read on to learn more about their findings!
This study was published in the June 2014 edition of the Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome Journal and made several conclusions related to weight control in people with obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Most adults today do not get the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical exercise, meaning their habits put them at risk of developing metabolic conditions that could impact their quality of life. Participants of the study were aged 40 to 70 years, and they either had Type 2 diabetes or were obese. The goals of the study were to find whether the participants experienced improved physical fitness, improved energy expenditure or a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI). The study also surveyed the participants to find out their initial motivation to exercise, and found that most participants were contemplating a change in their lifestyles but hadn’t yet taken much action toward implementing healthy lifestyle adjustments.
The study found that participants who used a dance program for exercise, along with a balanced diet, were able to stick with the programs at a higher rate than those who chose to do most other forms of exercise. This commitment led to a greater amount of weight loss over six months in the group that was dancing as opposed to the self-selected exercise group. The dancing group also lost more inches around their waists, lowered their BMIs more and saw improved metabolic and cardiovascular health. The rate of exercise among the dancers tended to increase over the course of the study, while the rate of exercise for those who weren’t dancing trended downward over the six months they were being followed.
Researchers have known for decades that the key to controlling weight and metabolic disorders is a mix of a healthy diet and frequent exercise. And as much as many fitness professionals like to argue about what exercises you should be doing to control your weight, the type of physical activity doesn’t matter as much as one might think. The key factor in whether a fitness regimen is going to be successful is consistency. And as many people who have attempted these lifestyle changes can attest, consistency is made easier when the activity is something one enjoys. That’s why these researchers concluded that it wasn’t anything special about the dance moves that were helping these participants — it was simply the fact that they didn’t quit.
If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change that could be easy and fun to stick with over the long term, visit your local Fred Astaire Dance Studio today! We have classes for all experience levels and interests, and the group dynamics and fun environment will keep you moving and grooving every week!