As the Halloween sugar rush fades and the number on the scale sinks in, ditch the treadmill and sign up for a ballroom dancing class to get in shape this winter and dance off extra calories.
Thirty minutes of salsa dancing can burn up to 200 calories, according to the Calorie Control Council, an international association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry. If you’re tracking your candy consumption — 200 calories is approximately the same amount as three miniature candy bars or a large handful of jelly beans. Dancing improves cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and muscle tone, too.
“Dancing will help you reach your weight-loss goals,” said Sarah Petrov, co-owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studios in northern Phoenix. “If you want to lose weight, you’ll want to focus on the swing, jive and salsa. They have speed and rhythm.”
Fred Astaire Dance Studios develops goals with each of its students when they begin their ballroom dancing journey. If fitness is a client’s goal, the dance chain helps them build confidence and reach their weight-loss vision. Seeing her clients get in shape is an added benefit of teaching ballroom dancing, Petrov said. Many students report back on health improvements after receiving their annual physicals. “Doctors see physical changes in our students,” Petrov said. “Doctors tell them to keep dancing. One student’s doctor reported improved bone density and the only change she made was taking our dance classes.”
In addition to helping clients lose weight, dancing improves mental health. Research from the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that dancing can dramatically reduce the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s easy to see how dancing helps promote weight loss with these high-energy numbers performed by dancers on the popular “Dancing With the Stars” television show.
Hannah Brown and her partner perform the samba, a lively, Latin dance from Brazil.
Check out politician Rick Perry dancing the cha-cha to “God Blessed Texas,” by the country music band, Little Texas.
Julianne Hough and her partner get their heart rates up and their feet moving by dancing the jitterbug — dressed as characters from the “I Love Lucy” television show.
Have Fun and Burn Calories
If getting on the scale the day after Halloween is a scary prospect, consider signing up for a dance lesson at your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location. Dancing is a great way to have fun and burn off extra calories consumed during this spooky holiday.