OK, we admit it!
It’s even hard for us to get excited about paying taxes. All of those forms to fill out, the confusion, the deadline pressures; it’s hard for anybody to find the silver lining in that. But there is something to look forward to if you’re part of the roughly 80 percent of taxpayers who get a refund — what to do with that money?
So what will you do with your income tax refund money? We’ve got a few ideas here at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and for some people, five things your tax refund can buy are worth every penny!
Buy Stronger Bones
We love to talk about what a great workout ballroom dancing can be. It’s a fantastic low-impact aerobic activity that burns fat and can boost your metabolism. Did you know that you can samba your way to stronger bones? Weight-bearing exercises can help maintain and increase bone density. The National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis National Resource Center recommends that the best bone-building exercises are the kinds that force you to work against gravity, bearing your own weight. Dancing fits the bill perfectly as it allows you to move at a pace you’re comfortable with. And there’s the added bonus of muscle strengthening and improved balance and coordination, all of which can help prevent falls.
Buy Mental Clarity
If you seem to find yourself losing focus or if you feel that you are moving through your days in a fog, then ballroom dancing might be just the thing to lift the fog and sharpen your mind. There are studies that show dancing’s positive effects on slowing the progress of dementia, even Alzheimer’s. There is even a small study done by researchers at Minot State University in North Dakota that found that the Latin-style dance program known as Zumba (based on rumba) improves cognitive skills, such as visual recognition and decision making. So, while you’re sharpening your skills on the dance floor, you’re giving your mind a tune-up as well. Dancing can leave you quick on your feet, both physically and mentally.
When you think about things that you truly enjoy doing, chances are most of them allow you the opportunity to express your creative side. Cooking, woodworking, painting, designing — they are all creative pursuits that rank high on leisure time lists. You can add ballroom dancing to that list as well. It’s a wonderful outlet to share your emotions and feelings through movement. You’ll find yourself expressing your feelings with the music, the fluidity of movements and the types of dance you choose.
Buy Better Posture
How many times did your mother remind you to sit up straight! Turns out she was right. There are numerous physical AND mental benefits to correct posture. It keeps your bones and joints in correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly. That means there will be less wear and tear on joint surfaces from improper use. Good posture also prevents backaches and muscular pain and even prevents fatigue since muscles are being used more efficiently. And let’s face it: you look better when you’re not all slouched over and slumped, which can send your confidence into high gear. Dancers keep their heads held high, their shoulders down and their backs straight. Pretty soon it will become second nature and you’ll find you have perfect posture off the dance floor as well.
You don’t see Fred or Rita slumping and slouching here, do you?
Buy a Hobby
A hobby is something you want to do, not something that you must do. It can have a big impact on your life. Research has shown that people who have hobbies are generally healthier and happier. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that people with hobbies:
- Reported better moods and less stress
- Exhibited lower heart rates
- Reported more interest
The pleasure you gain from taking dance lessons at your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios can carry over into your daily life. It can help you find new friends, a new level of fitness, and a new passion to share.
When you open your mailbox and see that income tax refund check, consider this: when you buy dance lessons at a Fred Astaire Dance Studios you can buy better health and new friendships. You’ll find it all waiting for you at a location near you.