Latest News » 3 reasons why dancing is good for your health

Doing the tango could help reduce feelings of anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Asking someone if they like to dance can yield some pretty hit-or-miss answers. Some love it, others can't get far enough away from it. There are those who can tear up a dance floor, and others who are only capable of the most awkward of movements.

Luckily, your body doesn't care which end of the spectrum you fall on, just that you dance at all! As the healthy living website Care2 points out, there are a slew of physical and psychological benefits to dancing. Getting out on the dance floor may not be your proudest moment, but it can go a long way in bolstering heart and brain health.

Here are a few ways that dancing can improve your overall well-being:

  • Good for your heart: Research published in the journal Circulation found that patients with stable chronic heart failure can get the same kind of aerobic exercise from learning the waltz as they do out of a more conventional cardiovascular workout.
  • Helps prevent dementia: A 21-year study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that older adults who dance regularly exhibited a 76 percent lower risk for suffering from dementia later in life. In fact, dancing proved to better prevent dementia development than many other leisurely hobbies, such as reading, biking, playing golf or doing crossword puzzles. Why? The running theory is that because dancing requires split-second decisions to move in tune with the rhythm, it forces the brain to build new neural pathways.
  • Staves off depression: One Australian study took a group of men and women who suffered from mood disorders and enrolled them in a two-week tango class. By the time they had finished the course, the study's participants reported significantly lower levels of anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress.

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