Swing of Things: Dancing Boosts Heart Health, Fuels Weight Loss

dancing boosts heart health

Did you know that dancing boosts heart health and helps you lose weight? Get in the swing of things this month at Fred Astaire Dance Studios by learning how to swing, cha-cha and salsa to get in shape.


February is American Heart Month, and Fred Astaire Dance Studios is celebrating love and cardiovascular fitness by offering special programs this month. American Heart Month started in 1963, during the month traditionally dedicated to love, hearts and cupids, to raise awareness of heart health and help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year — one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise and excessive alcohol use put people at risk. One of the first steps to lowering your risk of heart disease is adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine. Dancing is a great way to burn calories, improve physical fitness and boost cardiovascular health.


Certain Dances Speed Up Weight Loss

Dancing burns calories, increases flexibility and improves posture. While dances like the foxtrot, waltz and tango are great for building leg muscle, the best ballroom dances for heart health require picking up the pace and breaking a sweat. Experts recommend trying the salsa, jive, Charleston or quickstep.


Check out this clip from “Dancing With the Stars” where Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten dance the quickstep to “American Girl,” by Elle King. The quickstep is a fast, flowing dance interspersed with syncopation. The dance has African and Caribbean roots and gained popularity during the Roaring Twenties in New York.


Another great dance to get your heart pumping is the jive, a lively swing dance similar to the jitterbug. Click the link to see performers from the BBC’s popular television series, “Strictly Come Ballroom” jive to “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” a tune from the Broadway musical, “Hairspray.”


The salsa, which served as the inspiration for a popular exercise class called Zumba, is sure to burn calories. Salsa combines Cuban dances and popular jazz styles and is characterized by hip-swinging to vibrant music, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

In this clip from “Dancing With the Stars,” Chris Mazdzer, Josh Norman, Witney Carson, and Sharna Burgess dance the salsa to “WTF (Where They From)” by Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams.

Burn Calories and Have Fun at Fred Astaire Dance Studios

Find out how you can learn a lifelong hobby designed to keep your heart healthy. Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios for information on how you can celebrate American Heart Month.