February is Heart Health Month- so dance!

February is Heart Health month and dancing is one of the ways you can stay stay healthy!

It is no secret that dance helps keep people in shape, but what you may not know is that dancing regularly can have a huge impact on your cardiovascular health! A 2014 study was conducted in the United Kingdom to further examine the ties between dancing and improved heart health. Scientists asked 48,000 people over the age of 40 questions about their dancing and walking habits from the last month. After following up with the participants about a decade later, the researchers concluded that regular dancing can reduce your chances of dying from heart disease by 46 percent! The study also showed that dancing is better for improving heart health than fast-walking.

Your heart is a muscle, and just like any other muscle in your body it grows stronger when you exercise it! Ballroom Dancing is beneficial for your heart because short blasts of high-energy activity mixed with taking breaks raises and lowers your heart rate in an interval fashion. The more often your heart goes through interval training, the healthier your heart will be. An American Heart Association study showed that elderly patients who experienced heart failure and enrolled in a ballroom dance class had improved oxygen levels among other cardiac indicators when compared to people who did other forms of exercise.

Although all ballroom dance styles will help your heart health, there are some that are better than others. Generally, the faster styles such as Salsa, Cha Cha Samba , and Quickstep will have you moving a ton and make you break a sweat. The slower styles of ballroom dance like the Rumba, Foxtrot, Waltz, and Tango are still good forms of exercise, but will not give you the same heart health benefits that faster styles will. These slower styles will help you build strength in your legs and core, since you are performing slower and more controlled movements.

Ballroom dance is of a social nature and encourages interaction with others, whether it is your partner or other people in your class. Social interaction is proven to increase happiness and relieve stress, which in turn reduces strain on the heart.

Frequent dancing has a plethora of benefits for people of all ages! It’s never too late to find a new passion that will improve your overall health and happiness. Contact Fred Astaire Dance Studios of East Greenwich today to learn more about the classes we have to offer and the amazing, healthy future dance holds in store for you!