Did You Go Overboard On Your Thanksgiving Meal? Read This!

You heaped your plate with turkey. You plowed through the mashed potatoes and gravy. You drooled over the pumpkin pie — and you definitely went for that second (or third!) slice. If there’s one thing that describes Thanksgiving in America, it’s the abundance of shameful, glorious overeating. In fact, as you read this, you may still be suffering from the gurgled protests of your over-extended abdomen.

But there’s no need to be upset about your massive post-Thanksgiving food baby. That’s because we have a solution that can keep your health in check this holiday season, no matter how many cans of whipped cream you went through last week. Ballroom dance is a great way to get your exercise, without sacrificing any of the fun!

Dance is a full-body workout.

Ballroom dance is an exercise that works your entire body. Your core, your back, your glutes and thighs — you name it. The more vigorous and complex your dance is, the more muscles and areas of the body you will use. Even if you’re not breaking a sweat, you are still in constant motion, engaging all the muscles in your body in some way. This means ballroom dance is a great workout for all fitness levels — from exercise beginners to workout pros!

Dance keeps you lean and toned.

Because ballroom dance works muscles all over your body, it can give you that lean, toned look you’ve been dreaming about. But we know looks aren’t everything. What toning your body really means is that you’re becoming stronger and healthier. You’ll be able to do more, endure more and live a happier life by strengthening those muscles. You’ll have more energy to do the things you love, and your body’s limitations won’t hold you back.

Dance is a major calorie burner.

It’s no secret; If you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. It’s that simple — in theory. In reality? It can be really hard during the holidays to limit your calorie intake and watch what you eat. Most of the foods we love to celebrate the season with include lots of fat and sugar, not to mention the extra-large portions. But it’s OK to celebrate, and it’s OK to live a little and go for that delicious dessert you’ve been eyeing. However, if you’re becoming concerned about your waistline, ballroom dance is a great place to start your fitness routine. Depending on your intensity level, dance can burn anywhere between 100-450 calories in just one 30-minute session. For slower dances like the waltz or the tango the amount of calories you use will be on the lower end of that range, while for fast-paced dances like swing, you’ll find yourself really feeling the burn!

Dance is good for mental fitness too!

Your muscles aren’t the only things you should be taking care of when it comes to staying fit. Fitness is a whole-body journey, from your toes to your brain. And wouldn’t you know it, ballroom dance can give your brain a boost, too! In fact, dance has been linked to Alzheimer’s prevention and improvement in overall mental clarity. All that twisting and twirling engages your mind, forcing you to predict, react, improvise and learn. This keeps your mind sharp and focused, improving your cognitive abilities over time.

So there’s no need to worry about that turkey belly. Ballroom dance is a fun and exciting way to stay fit through the holiday season and beyond! Find out how you can sign up for dance lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Tarrytown and get started on your fitness journey.