Dancing Your Way To A Longer Life

Want to know some good steps to a longer life? Try some tango, hip hop or salsa steps! Turns out the teenagers from Footloose was on to something, marching it up to court in order to un-ban dancing and rock music in their little Midwestern town. Yep, not only is there a wide range of dancing steps to get your groove on – there’s also a wide range of reasons why you should try them!

1. It’s good for your your heart, weight, blood sugar levels – pretty much just your body in general

Regular dancing can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, and perhaps some cancers. Says who? Dr Peter Mace, assistant medical director of Bupa Wellness.

2. Your social life will benefit

Dancing alleviates social isolation. Research by Dr Jonathan Skinner of Queen’s University Belfast says the social benefits of dancing help counteract aging.

3. It’s mighty good for your mood

A little-known fact about getting footloose: dancing gives you an energizing “dancer’s high”, which can satisfy the craving for less healthy habits. Researchers from Budapest and from Trent University in Nottingham, UK, developed a standardized tool called the Dance Motivation inventory, or DMI. These researchers found that people who dance do it to gain mood enhancement, escape stress, and increase socialization – the same rewards people seek when pursuing riskier behaviors like drinking and gambling.

4. Dancing keeps your brain younger for longer

Dancing is one of the most effective physical activities out there to slow down the aging process of the brain. According to a study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, this is because it requires memorizing new steps, movements and routines.

Best of all, dancing is a form of exercise that’s well-known for being fun. In other words, you don’t know that you’re working out, gaining confidence, keeping your brain young, and making friends – you’re just enjoying yourself. Moreover, dance has made its way into the gym, where you can join classes incorporating different dance styles into one big, massively fun workout. For many celebrities – like Jennifer Lopez, for example, dancing is a way to regain confidence and boost their mood. It allows you to see what your body is capable of and releases endorphins – all the while torching calories, making you happy, healthy and young again.

So what are you waiting for? Go get your groove on!

About the Author

dancing | Longevity LIVEWe received this excerpt from the new longevity book by Karen Salmansohn, called Life is Long. Karen is a happiness and wellness expert, who is the author of numerous best-selling self-improvement books like Think Happy and How to Be Happy, Dammit, with more than one million copies sold. She has studied to be a yoga and meditation teacher at Ishta Yoga and designed a line of inspirational jewelry showcased on HSN. She is also the founder of 2 popular sites which help people to become their highest potential: NotSalmon.com and MastersInLife.com. Karen’s been featured on various media channels – including CNN and Fox News,  served as a columnist for Oprah.com, Huffington Post and others, and been featured in print media from New York Times to ELLE Magazine. She lives in New York, New York.