With Strictly Come Dancing back on TV, there’s never been a better time to put on your dancing shoes. Dancing is one of the most fun and effective ways to lose weight and get healthy so we’ve asked the experts how you can get the benefits – even if you have two left feet.
Why is dancing so great for me?
“Dancing is a great way to get fit and work your whole body,” says Ian Parker from Fitsteps, a nationwide dance exercise class inspired by Strictly. “It can help to improve your balance, flexibility and posture. It gets your heart pumping and could help you burn up to 600 calories.”
Remembering the steps and coordinating your arms and legs can be quite tricky too so gives your brain a great workout. Music is also thought to boost memory, improving the blood flow to your brain.
“Dancing is also a huge de-stresser when you’ve had a difficult day,” says Maureen Hill of nationwide dance fitness craze, ChaSamba. “It releases lots of happy hormones, so you leave class feeling great about getting fit while learning something new and having a brilliant time.”
Which dance style is right for me?
With so many styles of dancing there’s something for everyone from an explosive Samba to an elegant Waltz. Or you could choose a dance fitness class such as ChaSamba or FitSteps, which bring together all the dances you see on Strictly dance floor, from Jive and Salsa to Cha Cha and Quickstep.
“Mixing all the dances together gives you an energising, whole-body work-out, with each of the different dances benefitting different areas of your health,” says Ian. “Latin dances such as the Tango, Rumba and Cha Cha will really improve your flexibility and mobility with all the hip action as well as working your heart and lungs.
“The Ballroom dances, such as the Waltz and American Smooth will really improve your core strength which helps to improve your balance. Other styles help to strengthen your arms and could even help you banish your bingo wings".
What if I’m not a ‘dancer’?
Both FitSteps and ChaSamba classes are geared up to work at your pace, so they’re great for beginners and more experienced dancers. “If you have joint problems or back pain we can tailor the routine to you to make it lower impact,” says Maureen. “Or if you want to push yourself we can make it more of a challenge.” And you don’t need a partner because the classes are designed so everyone can dance by themselves. If you like music and want to get moving, there’s a very good chance you’ll love to dance.