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Dancing for Health: It's Not the Last Chance

By Stephen R. Farris

If you're like me, you had that one class in school that nearly everyone hated to go to, physical education. Most of the time PE class was between our other classes, so that meant changing out of our school clothes and getting into gym shorts and a T-shirt. That part wasn't so bad, but after sweating for nearly an hour and having to quickly transform back into a student in order to make it to the next class on time was a challenge.

But hey, at least we got in our exercise for the day. There were a few times when PE class was fun. Mainly for me it was when we had open gym and I could shoot a few baskets or shoot at targets with a bow and arrows. However -- and you wouldn't think of this as an exercise in general -- there was that one lamentable semester that square dancing was offered. 

I know what you must be thinking right about now. How the heck is that even considered an exercise, especially in PE class? In all actuality, dancing -- in most of its forms -- is indeed exercise. To break it down, you're literally using different parts of your body in motion. Your hands, arms, back, hips and legs. They're all in motion through various movements. Even while "square dancing."

Good for the Heart

It's true. Dancing can get your heart rate up and is a good form of cardio workout. Plus you're not out in all kinds of weather -- cold, heat, rain -- like runners and walkers are most of the time. 

It's Fun

I don't ever recall hearing someone who jogs singing the praises of how fun it was. Maybe it is to them and in turn, it's good exercise. Just not for me. Dancing can be fun and a good form of socializing. Meeting up with friends and enjoying a night of spinning your partner around on the floor can be not only healthy, but sharing that time with good company is also good for your mental health as well.

Try Different Steps and Styles

Being from the south, one of the most popular dances is the country western version called the two-step. There are plenty of other dance styles to try besides the two-step. Just naming a few, salsa dancing is one, ballroom dancing is another popular style, and even us older generation folks could benefit from a little hip-hop dance.

Don't be a wallflower. Get up, get active, and shake a leg or two. Have fun and stay healthy at the same time, dancing the night away.

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

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