NOV 15, 2023
Dancing Off the Pounds: Weight Management Through Movement
Dancing can encompass the benefits of a full-body workout. It's not only about the rhythm but also about enhancing your physical health.
Read time: 5 minutes
Whether under the flashing lights of a club or the dim light of a living room, there’s something natural and joyful about dancing. But it can be more than just a way to express yourself - it’s also a path to better health. Seriously, those spontaneous dance moves that only you can rock out (we’re not judging, you do you) can actually count as a workout! How? Well, dancing is an excellent form of exercise that encompasses the benefits of a full-body workout. It's not only about the rhythm and steps but also about enhancing your physical health.
Health Benefits of Dancing
Elevated Heart Rate
Dancing gets your heart pumping, much like a good run or a session of jumping jacks. As you groove to the beat, your cardiovascular system gets a workout, improving the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body.
Moving to music isn’t just fun, it’s a bona fide cardio workout. By engaging different muscle groups, dancing challenges your body in a dynamic way, helping to torch those calories and increase your stamina.
Boost in Coordination
Improved Bone Density
Dance away the calories! Consistent dancing can lead to weight loss as part of a healthy lifestyle, with the added benefit of toning your muscles for that desired lean look.
Dance Floor Woes: A Cautionary Tale
As with any form of physical activity, there’s a right and wrong way to go about it. Sorry to all of you throwing unique shapes out there, but you need to be mindful of the various risks in dancing ‘the wrong way.’
Common injuries when dancing without sufficient warm-up include sprains and injuries to your ankles, knees, and hips. So, to avoid this, it’s important to stretch before and after and, maybe most importantly, have the correct footwear. Proper support for your feet can mean the difference between a fulfilling workout and an unfortunate injury.
Nutrition Tips for Dancing as Workout
To keep your body energized and ready to bust a move, consider the following nutrition tips.
Sufficient Water Intake
Dancing is a workout, and you will sweat. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your dance session.
High Carb Intake Before
Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source. A meal rich in complex carbs a couple of hours before dancing can provide the sustained energy you need.
Protein for Recovery
After you've finished your last step, it’s time to recover. Protein aids in the repair and growth of muscles, so include a good source of protein in your post-dance meal.
Beyond Dancing - BPM Guide for Workout Songs
When it comes to working out, the beats per minute (BPM) in the music you choose can be as crucial as the exercise itself. It's the heartbeat of your workout playlist, dictating the tempo and intensity of your movements. It's not just about the catchy lyrics or the genre that gets you pumped - though they are key factors - it's the BPM that can truly make or break your workout rhythm.
Let’s dive into how you can align the speed and rhythm of your playlist with the type of workout you’re engaging in, ensuring that every beat matches your move.
Understanding BPM in Workout Songs
BPM is the real marker of what works. To put it simply, BPM is the number of beats that occur in one minute, and it sets the tone for the type of movement you'll be doing. High BPM music fuels high- energy workouts, whereas lower BPM tunes are perfect for more controlled, slower-paced exercises.
The Right Tempo for Every Move
Cooling Down After Exercise - Post-exercise, your cooldown is about bringing your heart rate down and letting your muscles relax. Slow the pace with tunes from 60 to 90 BPM to end your session on a relaxed note.
Yoga, Pilates, and Other Low-Intensity Activities - For these mindful and controlled movements, you’ll want something calm. Opt for music with 60 to 90 BPM to keep your movements deliberate and your mind in a state of relaxation.
Warming Up for Exercise - A good warm-up sets the stage for a great workout. Start with a BPM of 100 to 140 to prepare your body and mind for the activity ahead.
Steady-State Cardio, Such as Jogging - If you’re going for a consistent pace in your cardio, a BPM of 120 to 140 will help you maintain a steady heart rate and pace.
CrossFit, Indoor Cycling, or Other Forms of HIIT - To keep up with these high-intensity workouts, you need something that matches their vigor. Choose tracks with a BPM of 140 to 180-plus to keep you pushing through those tough intervals.
Weightlifting and Powerlifting – Even though lifting may seem about strength rather than rhythm, music with a BPM ranging from 130 to 150 can provide the tempo you need for consistent reps and sets.
Having a playlist that matches the BPM to the workout can help you stay on track, keep you motivated, and even improve the quality of your workout. So next time you lace up your dancing shoes or roll out your yoga mat, take a moment to consider the BPM of your music. Let the beats guide you through each pose, lift, and dance step, and you might just find yourself having the best workout yet.
Dancing as an exercise is an exhilarating way to challenge the sedentary lifestyle that many of us have unwittingly adopted. And what’s more, it brings a host of health benefits and joy - ‘cause who doesn’t love to dance when their favorite song comes on? So, why not swap the chair for a cha-cha, the desk for a disco, and make movement your new mantra? Get up, get moving, and let the rhythm lead the way to a healthier you.
Written by Matthew Stogdon
Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.