Sick of the gym? Just dance! According to a survey published by the American Council on Exercise, health and fitness specialists see dance-based workouts as a growing trend. Plus, you burn about 200 to 400 calories per hour dancing – similar to the calories you burn swimming, cycling or walking. If regularly practiced, dancing can lead to a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels, all signs of improved health and fitness. So if you’re ready to get your dance on (and burn off the fat!), read on for more ways to shape up while shaking your stuff!
Burn calories with choreographed moves
Who said dance classes are just for kids? Many studios and community centers offer jazz, hip hop, and ballet classes for grown-ups, too. Ballet is an awesome way to increase your flexibility, engages the hips, thighs, back, and abs, and ballet is gentle enough to practice during pregnancy. And quick-footed jazz and hip hop routines can burn about 300 calories an hour while working all of your major muscle groups. The best part? Rarely do you need any experience — or a closet full of tutus — to join.
Blitz fat with ballroom dance
Hot off the heels of the hit show Dancing With the Stars, ballroom’s never been bigger. And just like Brooke Burke, you, too, can become proficient in the pasa doble with a ballroom class. High-energy routines like the salsa, samba and cha-cha can be compared to an intense workout at the gym. Plus, because it’s a weight-bearing activity, ballroom dancing builds bone density and works nearly all the muscles of the body and sharpens balance and coordination.
Can’t make it to a studio? Create your own dance floor at home. Turn up the tunes (and close the shades, if you’re so inclined) and just let loose. Jump, skip, twist, turn and wriggle around until you get your heart rate up. And if you have kids, grab them for an impromptu dance party set to their favorite songs. You’ll work up a sweat, and they’ll love seeing all of mommy’s moves!