11 Benefits Of Dance-Based Workouts

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What are the benefits of dance workouts? Fitness pros explain.

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Whether you try Zumba, Bollywood, hip hop — or just freestyle moves in your living room — you can have a ton of fun and reap plenty of health benefits doing dance workouts. Here are 11 to know about.


It’s A Form Of Cardio

According to AKT master trainer Alissa Tucker, a fast-paced dance workout is an excellent way to improve your cardio endurance. Incorporate dance into your exercise routine and you’ll start to notice that you have more stamina.


It’s Functional

Dance is considered a functional exercise because it requires you to move through “all three planes of motion,” Tucker says. Doing so helps prepare your body to perform everyday tasks with ease — and fewer injuries.


It Increases Strength

According to Julia Kummerow of Dance Forever Studio, a dance class will challenge your muscles as you move in different ways. It’ll activate your core as you move through high-intensity choreography, and also utilize the muscles of your upper and lower body.

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It Boosts Brain Function

Studies have shown that practicing a dance routine can help create new neural pathways in the brain, which Tucker says improves memory and cognitive ability. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to get the moves right — it’s all about the learning process.

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It Reduces Stress

For many, dance is like a stress-relieving moving meditation, Tucker says. “It requires you to be in the present moment more than repetitive cardio exercises where your mind can continue to focus on what you need to do after your workout.”

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It Improves Coordination

Speaking of focus, a fast-paced dance class will up your coordination levels, says 305 fitness founder Sadie Kurzban. It can take a while to get used to tricky steps and new routines, but with regular practice, you’ll eventually nail it.


It Gives A Mood Boost

Even if it’s hard, cardio dance improves your mood. A group dance class can offer a fun community aspect, says Alvin Ailey instructor Sarina Jain, but dancing at home can do the trick, too. Just focus on having fun and enjoy a rush of endorphins.


It’s Easy On The Joints

If you have joint pain, dance might be a better choice than other cardio exercises, like jogging. “Even a high-impact dance cardio class can easily be modified to be low-impact,” Tucker says. Just ask the instructor for modifications.

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It Improves Flexibility

Finish a cardio dance class and you’re bound to feel more limber, says licensed Zumba instructor Diane Moore. You’ll stretch at the start of class, warm up your muscles, and then move through a wide range of moves that all contribute to flexibility.

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It Brings Better Blood Flow

A cardio dance class can also help improve your blood oxygen levels and boost circulation throughout your body, says AFAA-certified group fitness instructor Heather Carroll.

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It’s Fun

The fun factor may be one of the biggest benefits of dance workouts. As Tucker says, “The most effective workout is the one you actually do. Dance cardio is a great option for people who don’t typically enjoy exercise since it can feel more like a party than a workout.”

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