Here’s a given; regular exercise helps to moderate anxiety and depression. Aerobic exercise in particular, enhances mood, decreases stress levels and improves executive function, which is more specifically, the mental process that helps us achieve goals. Exercise also improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood.
Dancing in particular, increases muscle strength and flexibility, which in turn, improves a person’s overall range of motion. We become more flexible. Dance also increases core strength which can improve balance, coordination, posture and I must mention that, dance is fun.
The joy from dancing releases “feel good “ hormones which further combat low emotional drive. From an Eastern philosophy perspective, exuberant movement helps to move chi throughout the body, which is the essence of healthy life. That’s our goal, isn't it? These are all good reasons to dance away the winter blues.
I’m a huge fan of Zumba. Latin-inspired Zumba uses Latin American dance moves and alternating fast and slow rhythms to give a total-body workout that combines cardio and resistance training. It’s kinda sexy, fluid and the heart thumping music reminds me of dancing in the South, but without a margarita.
Fellow Board Member Margie (George Herman House's) and I follow Bianca from intofun.ca Bianca breaks down complex movements into easy to follow steps and also moderates the class to include everybody’s abilities. She’s one of us. Our group dynamic is non judgemental and down to earth. We are comfortable together. We allow ourselves joy when we think we look like we’re super stars - acing a perfect routine but we also giggle as a group, when we go off track. There’s something very supportive about gathering together to share a common goal. It’s healing, nurturing and essential to interpersonal relationships.
The ability to form interpersonal relationships is a mark of emotional and behavioural maturity, which is a component of, well functioning mental health.
Dancing Zumba together, is an effort in fitness, friendship, and (wink) self expression!