Do it BIG, Do it RIGHT, Do it with STYLE, Just DO IT!

What am I talking about here? DANCE! It is no secret that I LOVE to dance! It is my preferred type of exercise, my favorite hobby, and my true passion in life! This blog is going to be about all things dance with a focus on Zumba fitness!

What is Dance?

The simple definition of dance is life at its best! We express ourselves by dancing. Everything we feel can be reflected in different movements. You don’t need to be a professional dancer to enjoy dancing. You can be a beginner, older, younger, a trained dancer, a person who likes to "go out dancing", or even someone who dances behind closed doors. It doesn’t matter if you do it well or not, you should always dance for your own pleasure. Our dancing movements (graceful or not) are the best way to express ourselves without saying any words! People are free to choose any dancing language they want: soft and delicate, fierce or powerful, or anything in between. It depends on the hidden message they want to send to others or what they are feeling inside.

There are so many benefits of dancing — and it can even be a REAL workout. NEVER resist the urge to shake your booty. Dancing has some serious perks for your physical, mental and emotional health. If you've been dabbling with the idea of dance, here are some reasons why (the list could go on and on) you should finally add a little rhythm to your fitness routine.

1. Dancing Relieves Stress

Having a stressful day? Dancing may be the last thing on your to-do list, but moving can be just the stress-reliever your mind and body need. When you dance, you're not focusing on the stress in your personal life or your day-to-day worries. There's a scientific reason for this chilled-out effect. During exercise, the brain releases endorphins — your body's natural painkillers — which can help alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress. So what are you waiting for... GET DANCING!

2. Dance Makes You Happy

There's just something about grooving to the radio that makes you feel carefree. In part, it's the rush of feel-good endorphins that flood your system when you bounce to a beat. Plus, listening to music also triggers the release of the "happy chemical" dopamine in the brain. That's why hearing your favorite song puts you on cloud nine. But there's even more to celebrate about dance: It can also make you feel better about yourself. Cutting a rug could boosts your self-esteem. Especially if you're a little shy, dancing can help you come out of your shell. If you are anything like me, dance can make you feel sexy. For once, its not about how that shirt fits or how those pants look. It is about loving myself completely and not caring what anyone else thinks of that. IT IS SO EMPOWERING!!

3. Dancing Is Good for Your Heart

Turns out, dancing's not just food for your soul, it's also great for your heart. I read online that moderate-intensity dancing can cut your risk of dying from heart disease and has an even greater benefit than walking when it comes to cardiovascular health. Plus, like any other heart-pumping cardio workout, dance burns a ton of calories. WHO DOESN'T LIKE TO BURN LOTS OF CALORIES?!?!?

4. Dancing Improves Strength and Balance

Ever wonder why dancers have rock-hard bodies? It's because dance engages muscles in ways far different than traditional exercise. Unlike activities such as running and weightlifting, dancing uses less repetitive movements, so it keeps your body guessing. Not only does dance fire up your muscles in new ways, it involves all planes of motion. That's why it's great for conditioning, strengthening and toning. This type of varied movement not only boosts strength but also improves balance and good balance is particularly import as we age. GET MOVING!!

5. Dancing Keeps Your Brain Sharp

If you've ever taken a dance class, you've probably noticed it involves flexing your mental muscles, too. Learning choreography is great exercise for your brain because it takes a lot of brain power to remember sequences of steps and master complicated moves. Dancing can improve cognitive flexibility meaning the brains ability to adjust to new, unexpected situations. In other words, dancing not only keeps your limbs limber, but your mind too.

6. Dancing Doesn’t Feel Like Exercise

Not a fan of exercise? Constantly dreading that workout? Dance is a great way to sneak in physical fitness without realizing it. For many people, dancing is less of a 'chore' than going to the gym because it's so much FUN. Time flies when you're busy grooving and most people say group dance class often feels more like a party than a workout. The music has a lot to do with that festive vibe. In fact, fast tempo tunes get you pumped and make you push harder during a sweat session. And since dancing never feels like work, you'll want to keep doing it. Maybe you will even stick to it!

7. Anyone Can Dance Anywhere

Hands down, dancing is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. All you need is your body and some music. Plus, you can dance whenever inspiration strikes, fitting in a quick shimmy while you get ready for work or when you cook dinner — no need to drive all the way to the gym, although I highly recommend it. And, whether you're 90 or 19, anyone can groove to a beat. Dance can be modified to suit all ages. So, start now, and shake your way into your later years.

8. Dancing Is a Great Way to Meet People

Joining a dance class can boost your social life, too. If you attend regularly, you're bound to make buddies with your fellow dancers. I can be the first to attest that many friendships and relationships start in a dance class. The dance environment fosters a strong sense of community. If you're nervous about dancing in front of people, start at home. Let loose like no one's watching. But, ultimately, don't let your fear of two left feet keep you from joining the party.

Speaking of joining the party- ever tried a Zumba class?!?! Most people who know me know that I LOVE ZUMBA!!! I think I mentioned in a past blog that I started taking Zumba almost 10 years ago and have been teaching it for 7 years now! Stepping into my first Zumba class changed my life and I will forever be thankful for that day! So what is Zumba? What are the benefits? and where can you try a class?

Zumba takes the "work" out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you'll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. A total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility and boosted energy, you will see why people can't get enough of these classes. Super effective? Check. Super fun? Check and check. Zumba is perfect for everyone and everybody. It is easy to follow, brings people together, and you will leave class feeling like a million bucks!!

So what are the benefits of Zumba Fitness?

They are similar to the dance benefits listed above, but I think it is still important to share them with you. Here is the short version, but you can find more info if you google "benefits of Zumba Fitness"

  1. Weight management: Lose those extra pounds and excess body fat

  2. Physical Conditioning: Become More Supple And Strong

  3. Heart Health: Keep Your Heart Strong And Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

  4. Psychological Well-Being: Feel Happy, Energized, And Empowered

  5. Stress Relief: Shake Off The Nerves, Tension, And Anxiety

  6. Cognitive Skills: Amp Up The Brainpower

Where can you try a Zumba class?

Lucky for you, Empowered Fitness in Danvers has Zumba classes EVERY Tuesday and Thursday night 6pm with ME!!! You can always try your first class for FREE as we believe that you should be able to try something before having to pay for it. If you love class, we offer a class pass for $100 ($10/class) or you can pay a drop in rate $12/class. Zumba classes at Empowered are awesome! There is a mix/variety of music and movements. We sweat, we laugh, and we have so much fun!! The community of participates are so welcoming and make me excited to see them and teach every week. I can't say enough good things and I really hope to see you one day in class!!

Remember, to make the most of your Zumba class you must know and listen to your body. Only push yourself as much as you comfortably can. Avoid moves that are too difficult or dangerous even if people around you are doing it. Don’t push yourself too hard, and slow down or stop if you start to feel very uncomfortably short of breath. It isn't about who is the best or following the instructor to the T... it is about YOU and how you can get the best workout. Keep moving those feet. Dance like no one is watching, and join me for a class! I promise you won't regret it! No matter what....Keep dancing everyone!

All My Love,


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