Everyone knows that physical exercise is one part of maintaining your health. But what if there was one form of exercise that could not only tone your glutes and triceps, but provide a platform of self- expression that would reconnect you to an old version of yourself, or even a newer more self-aware version of you? Perhaps it would reconnect you to the uninhibited emotional states of early childhood- laughing, spinning, frolicking in the backyard. Even better, what if it did not “feel” like exercise? Enter… dancing!
I can say from personal experience battling autoimmunity and having joints that scream “NO!” at times to any form of movement– that dance has been a way for me to keep moving, stay flexible, and improve my general health. Much of this comes from allowing my body to move in ways that are not forced and working within limitations at times. Who says you have to be the next greatest talent from “You Think You Can Dance”? You don’t, my friend. The truth is, movement is a precious thing, and if you are able to move, no matter how much, lay your performance anxiety to the side, and as they say, dance like nobody is watching!
Not only will you be staying flexible, dancing will help tone your muscles, improve heart and lung function (hello cardiovascular exercise), and if you dance enough to work up a sweat you just increased detox potential Seriously – get your stagnant self out of that office chair you’ve been sitting in for 3 hours and do the twist, vogue, moves from Thriller, the cha-cha slide, or whatever suits your fancy! Dancing can be a creative act as well. So move with your favorite song and let go of structure.
Rhythmic movement has been shown to release endorphins, which we know are important for our moods, and music is a part of this process as well. You don’t need anything but yourself! No complicated routines or gym equipment, just create a little space for yourself to move. If you prefer to join a dance class, this can be a great social activity as well. You will be so glad you did!
“Laughter, song, and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration, or healing: We are not alone.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection