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Fitness Friday: Just Dance

dance fit 2

An exercise class with no pushups , squats or crunches? No sets or reps? It’s hard to believe.

Instead, there is hip shakes, shoulder shimmies, bodies twirls and foot work to the beat of great music.

Dance based fitness classes are a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. Though dancing has been around a long time, structured dancing fitness classes are relatively new, and many gyms and community centers now offer a wide variety of dance fitness classes that allow you to have fun and learn a dance style while working out.

Whether it’s ballet or ballroom, clogging or jazz, dancing is a great way for people of all ages and physical abilities to get and stay in shape.

Dancing is a great cardiovascular activity that helps with stress management, improving your overall health and well-being. Its benefits are far reaching; it improves muscle tone and coordination, improves circulation and helps to build endurance and stamina. Additionally, the effects of the aerobic activity have been proven to lower the risk of heart disease and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

Trying to find the right dance workout class for your age and lifestyle?

Here are some of the most popular options:

Barre: Ballet-inspired barre workouts use the ballet barre as a prop for bodyweight isometric moves, holding positions like pliés and squats for a minute or more to work both major and minor stabilizing muscles.

Zumba: Zumba matches moves from Latin, Creole, and African dance traditions to top  tunes in fun, loose, and laughter-filled groups of all ages and fitness levels.

Hip Hop: If loud music and full-out dancing is your thing, hip-hop dance classes are sure to get your heart pumping. Hip-hop involves a lot of jumping and quick body isolations, which can pose injury risk for newbies, so start with a beginner’s class if you’re new to the moves.

Nia: If you combine dance, martial arts, and yoga, you’ve got Neuromuscular Integrative Action, or Nia.  The program encourages each participant to move across the entire room, and discourages the use of mirrors, all to help seal the mind-body bond.

Cardio Funk: An accessible high-energy aerobic fusion of jazz and hip-hop. Each class incorporates cardio dance movement, and stretch & strength exercises.

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