Whether you are personally affected by the school term times or not, the month of September always brings with it a sense of returning to normality. The long summer days are over for another year and it’s ‘back to school’ for most of us, at least until Christmas.
When it’s dark as you wake up and pitch black by 4 o’clock in the afternoon, understandably, it’s difficult to want to do anything but get home as quickly as possible, batten down the hatches and hunker down for the night. Six back-to-back episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’ to the soundtrack of rain hammering against the window is great, but dancing is better (promise), and here’s my top 5 reasons why:
1. Sleep Better
There is no quick fix for insomnia but regular exercise combined with better sleep habits can help as part of a long-term solution.
2. Mental Wellbeing
Exercising when you least feel like it is when it can be most effective and it is often prescribed as an alternative to antidepressants for those suffering from mild depression.
3. Physical Wellbeing
Look good because you feel good. Forget unattainable model-types, feel good because you are healthy, confident and strong, not thin.
4. Health Benefits
The obvious benefits of exercising through dance include; improvements of cardiovascular health, muscle strength, co-ordination, posture and flexibility. In addition, exercise has proven beneficial in people both preventing and recovering from illness. Most notably, recent studies have shown that regular exercise can prevent cognitive decline and can reduce the risk of some types of cancer (in particular breast and colon cancer), stroke and type 2 diabetes.
5. Dance and music therapy
Few scientific studies have been carried out concerning the therapeutic benefits of dance. I can only give you my personal experience. Dance and music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, but it has been especially important when other areas of my life aren’t going as well as they might. Because dance involves having to mentally focus on learning choreography and listening to the accompanying music, it’s the only form of exercise that manages to completely disengage me from the inane problems in my life – and that can be quite freeing. Immerse yourself in the music and choreography and forget about whatever stresses and worries might be going on outside the dance studio …they will still be there waiting for you when the class has finished.
I don’t know much, but I do know this: Dancing is good. Even on the days when I don’t feel great, I have always felt better after taking a class.