It’s one fun way to get fit …

This activity may help boost your health and happiness

You’re moving to music — and getting lost in the beat. You’re not counting minutes on a treadmill or reps on a weight machine. You’re having chase-away-your-cares fun.

Dancing might not seem like exercise. But that’s the beauty of it. Since it’s so enjoyable — and energizing — you’re likely to stick with it. And from tap to tango, it’s a great full-body workout.

Cue the music — and feel great!

In the moment, dancing can trigger the release of feel-good brain chemicals. It can be a true “happy dance” — brightening your mood and easing stress.  

And you can’t argue with the other health perks. As you move to the music, you can:

  • Give your heart a workout
  • Strengthen your muscles and bones
  • Burn calories — helping you get to or stay at a healthy weight
  • Give your thinking and memory a boost
  • Improve your balance and coordination

When done as regular exercise, dancing may help protect you from chronic conditions. That includes high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia and osteoporosis.*

Put on your dancing shoes

If you’re not sure which type of dance suits you, consider giving a few different styles a whirl.

You could explore ballroom dancing, salsa or swing. Or take a hip-hop, jazz or line-dance class. Does a hobby group appeal to you? You might join a clogging, belly dancing or square-dance club.

Look for classes at dance studios, health clubs and community centers. If you’re curious about the format or fitness level required, start by observing.

Or maybe you’d rather dance when nobody’s looking. That’s even easier. Just crank up your favorite tunes at home — and do your own thing. Or get grooving with a DVD or online video that teaches you moves.

Just remember not to overdo it if you haven’t been active regularly.** Give yourself time to ease into it — and have fun every step of the way! 

What to do next

Step up to see if you’re a wellness rock star. Regular physical activity is just one measure of success.

See where you stand on 8 keys to wellness

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*Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

**Talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.