In the battle of the bulge, ballroom dancing wins!

On the last Saturday of each July, Americans celebrate National Dance Day. Born in 2010, National Dance Day is a grassroots campaign encouraging Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and fight obesity.


When researching weight loss solutions, it’s always best to adopt the attitude of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Does this pill really “target and zap fat away?” Probably not. Does this one weird trick really make the pounds fall off? Definitely not. Luckily, eating right and finding the right exercise plan for your life tends to work better. Changing your habits can be difficult, but it gets easier if you enjoy your exercise plan. Ballroom dance should be part of that exercise plan.


Think about it. Ballroom dance is intense aerobic exercise, involving constant movement and breathing. It gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Ballroom dance has been shown to lower blood pressure and promote better cardiovascular health. No more stopping to catch your breath! It also helps that dance is a weight-bearing exercise. This means that over time, dance will improve your posture and strengthen your bones and joints.


Let’s talk numbers, though. What can dance do for your weight loss plan? Fifteen minutes of a slow Foxtrot burns at least 50 calories. Think about it; that means an hour of dancing burns at least 200 calories, and it often doesn’t stop there. If you’re up for a dance like the lively Samba, you could be burning around 370 or even more calories per hour. The Samba is a fast-paced 4/4 dance that involves rapid three-step footwork, so it’s no wonder how the calories burn off so quickly.


The cha-cha, a form of ballroom dance that originated in Cuba, burns off a whopping 500 calories an hour! That’s comparable to an hour of running up and down stairs or time well spent at the punching bag. The key movement of the cha-cha involves swaying your hips in such a way that you alternate bending and straightening each leg. Set to a quick tempo (128 beats per minute), the cha-cha will get you sweating and does the trick for your weight loss.


The best thing about ballroom dance as an exercise is that it’s a team effort. You and your partner are in this together, and that helps take the burden off your shoulders. Time will go by faster with an enthusiastic partner — something you don’t get with typical weight loss exercises.


So if you’re serious about losing weight but maybe not so serious about the whole gym idea, why not try ballroom dance? Even if your weight loss plan makes you into a gym rat, you should consider adding ballroom dance to the mix. It’s fun, it’s social, and unlike “fat-zapping” pills, it actually works. Come to your local Fred Astaire Dance Studio and let us help you lose weight with Fred. We teach a variety of types of ballroom dance, and we’ll help find the right rhythm for you.