Can Ballroom Dancing Help Prevent Type II Diabetes?

It seems like every year the health situation in America worsens. In fact, according to a recent article in the New York Times, obesity rates among Americans are continuing to rise, despite every effort to fight it. And the same goes for Type II diabetes, a disease with a heavy correlation to certain diet and lifestyle choices, namely a lack of exercise and being overweight. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 1.7 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year, the majority of which are Type II diabetes.


These growing numbers are concerning. But the thing is, maybe we are fighting these very preventable diseases all wrong. Change is hard. And if diabetes or the threat of developing diabetes is something you’ve been dealing with for a long time, it can start to seem like an impossible battle to win. Maybe you feel like it’s your job that’s holding your health back — when you sit at a desk for 40 hours a week, it can be hard to find time for exercise. Or maybe it’s your budget — the sad fact of the matter is a fresh salad costs more than a highly processed burger and fries. Whatever the reason may be, if you find yourself struggling with your health, it may be time for a change.


And now that American Diabetes Month is in full swing, we think it’s the perfect time to suggest a change to your old habits. Finding something healthy that you actually enjoy doing can make a dramatic difference in your desire to make health a priority. When your workout feels like just that — work — you don’t want to do it! Learning something new and having fun doing it could be just the change you need to get your health on track.


Ballroom dance can bring a little (or a lot!) of fun to your health routine, and you’ll find that it has a surprising amount of benefits to your health. One big benefit of dance? It can actually help prevent Type II diabetes! Here’s why:


It improves your circulation.

Dancing on a regular basis is an excellent form of cardio. It causes your heart rate to speed up, which in turn increases blood flow to your muscles. Increased blood circulation is especially important to those at risk for diabetes. A common symptom of diabetes is poor blood flow, especially to the toes and feet. Getting your feet moving with dance will not only improve your overall health, but it could prevent serious complications down the road, including amputation of the feet.


It improves your heart health.

It’s no secret anymore; getting your heart pumping is great for your heart health. And heart disease, high cholesterol and Type II diabetes tend to go hand-in-hand. Diabetes and even pre-diabetes dramatically increase your risk of developing cardiovascular problems like heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease. When you dance, you are getting your blood circulating, lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk for these common killers.


It helps you manage stress

Ballroom dance is fun! Exercising in a fun, social environment is great for getting your endorphins pumping, and endorphins are your natural stress relievers! High stress levels have been shown to lead to weight gain and poor diet choices, which as we know, can eventually lead to diabetes. And not only that, but diabetes is strongly linked to having a low level of daily activity. Ballroom dance is a fun way to get you excited about exercise.


It can even keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

While the exact connection between the two is still unclear, studies have found that adults with Type 2 diabetes may have a higher risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes affects the way your body metabolizes sugar, and as a result, too much sugar remains in the blood. Over time, this can cause serious damage to the brain, allowing Alzheimer’s to develop. So by preventing the onset of Type II diabetes with ballroom dance, you’re also lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s!


It’s time to fight back against this highly preventable illness. Ballroom dance is a great way to prevent Type II diabetes and have fun doing it! Find out more about how you can start dancing today!