Why do people give up on their working out routine or their daily dose of exercise?
A- Because putting on weight is easier than losing it and B- it is boring.
Why not try something which doesn’t require equipments and at the same time is a lot of fun? So how do you do it? Dance your way to shedding those kilos. Dancing is a perfect blend of cardiovascular workout with building and toning those muscles. Dancing gives a variety of options from Bollywood, to hip hop to Salsa and good old aerobics.
Sandip Soparrkar, Ballroom dancer and instructor feels that dancing is looked at as a good option to lose weight these days. “Dancing is a great activity to tone up the body and can burn up to 400-500 calories per session”. It is relief for people with busy schedules who find it hard to stick to the routine and for people who hate working on the same routine in the gym.
Since all forms of dance require repetitive unsupported movements of the arms and legs the muscles in your arms and legs have to become stronger in order to do the same movements over and over again. Because you are doing so much extra movement you are forcing muscle growth in your body. So you have a great toned body and strong legs and hands.
There is no age bar for dancing; it can be taken up by anybody.“Dancing is for everybody, I have my youngest student at 8 years of age and the oldest at 72” says Sandip. Nor is it only for those who are overweight, “Some come for losing weight, some are not over weight but still suffer from knee, back problems.” For those who believe that stopping that dance routine will bring back those kilos, Sandip contradicts with “if you eat 4 chapattis and dance but later stop dancing but continue eating, you are going to gain weight, it’s not the dancing but the intake to blame.”
Researchers studying the heart rate and oxygen levels of Salsa dancers who were doing the dance either during lessons, at a night club or doing a group dance known as the rueda de casino found that the maximum heart rate of the dancers went up 58-75% and their oxygen levels went up 41-56%, depending on where the subjects danced.
There are certain things to keep in mind before you start putting your dancing shoes on-
Warm up, as with any exercise, warm up is essential for blood circulation so that it can warm and coordinate your muscles, preparing them to work without causing you stress or injury. A warm-up routine will also help you focus your mind on the task at hand, getting you mentally prepared for the more physical exercise to follow. Gentle, slow-paced stretches, neck-rolls, and breathing exercises fit in here
Take it slow at the start. You should work at a pace that is just beyond your comfort level. For older people with no fitness background, 45 minutes of restrained dancing once a week is a good to start with.
Posture and Alignment is important. The sense of confidence that a dancer radiates doesn't come without reason: having good posture has health benefits. Slouching weakens your back and stomach muscles which affects your energy levels. Having an upright posture improves breathing and prevents unnecessary strain on the knees, neck and back. Good posture also speaks volumes to onlookers about your self-confidence.
Vary your intensity. Like varying your intensity during workouts can burn more fat; dancing on songs with varying intensity is useful. Start with a slow song to warm up, and then up the tempo making sure that it is intense. Try different types of music and make sure you get a total workout by working on legs, arms, hips, stomach area.
There are no rules when you are dancing- you can go to dance studios to learn dances and fine tune your moves; you might take online lessons or just dance at the privacy of your home or better in the privacy of your room. You could bring out the child in you, do any bizarre step which you would never dare to pull off in public and bring in friends and family to just add to the fun. So have fun burning those calories.
To get started :
You can learn Salsa and other Latino dances at:
- Sandip Soparrkar's Ballroom Dance Studio (Mumbai) Mobile : 9819361074
- FastForward Dance studio (Mumbai), Mobile: 9821514044
- Lourd Vijays Dance Studio (Delhi) Contact: 9990385377
- Sanjay’s Dance Planet (Bangalore), Contact: 9738076888
- Imovz dance studio (Chennai), Contact: 9790975808
- Rocky Poonawala’s Dance School, Contact: 91-9823091056