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Dance Your Way to Good Health!

By Donna Stark

Over 40 years ago, a young man made his mark on the football scene and earned himself a nickname that you wouldn't imagine giving to many other football players. His name was Lynn Swann. He was a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers and because he was quick on his toes, light on his feet, and displayed an uncommon aerial elegance during the football seasons, the press soon began to call him "Baryshnikov in cleats." But he wasn't given that nickname loosely ... he actually did study dance as a child and has even spoken about how doing so helped him become a better football player.  

Well, obviously, not everyone who studies dance is on the path toward becoming a superstar athlete, and not everyone takes dance to become a professional dancer. Some people simply use dance as a fun way to exercise, because like Lynn Swann and Mikhail Baryshnikov, they know there are tons of health benefits to getting their groove on. Take a look.

Stronger Body

At quick glance, it is easy to see all of the physical benefits that regular dance provides. Joining a dance class or two can help you lose weight, increase strength, tone muscles, and strengthen bones. It can also help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, injuries, and joint dysfunction.

Increased Endurance

In addition to gaining strength and getting lean, you can also look forward to increased endurance and stamina once you start taking dance classes. Dancing is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that can help athletes of all fitness levels go longer and work harder during their periods of physical activity.

Improved Flexibility and Coordination

Do you have two left feet? Don't worry! The moves and steps you will learn in your dance classes have been known to turn those just like you into Fred Astaire copycats. Dancing will help improve your coordination, balance, and agility, while also sharpening your spatial awareness. On top of that, dance moves that really make the body stretch help encourage greater flexibility too!

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Aside from creating that perfect body, consistent dancing can help keep your mind in peak condition! Dancing can improve your brain function on a variety of levels. It can boost memory, improve sharpness, and reduce the levels of stress in your life. The social aspect of dancing should not be underestimated either because loneliness is a top contributor to cognitive decline.

Get Out and Dance

All the signs (and music notes) point to the fact that we should all be dancing as much as we can, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and get your groove on for improved health and wellness! And if you are an athlete looking to enhance your performance on the field, you certainly can't go wrong with learning a new step or two. After all, it worked for Lynn Swann, didn't it?

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Denver, Colo.

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