In this article we’re going to go through the best dancing cardio workouts we could find. When you’re having fun dancing, it’s easy to forget that dancing is also an excellent exercise for your body and mind.
How can dancing help you get healthier and fitter? Dancing combines music and movement. Music itself has health benefits, as it helps relieve stress, but when you add the movements of dancing, you multiply the benefits.
Dancing burns up to 400 calories per hour, more than jogging (about 350) but with less impact on your joints. Plus, dancing helps improve balance, flexibility, and posture — all important elements for a healthy mind and body.
1. Salsa Dancing For Weight Loss
How about a little salsa? No, not the popular Mexican sauce but the dance. Salsa is a popular form of social dancing that originated in the Caribbean. Immigrants from Cuba brought it to the United States where it gained a following. Salsa is a sensual and exciting dance with fast, complex moves, dips, and turns. The music is upbeat and lively, ranging from merengue to Afro-Caribbean rhythms.
Salsa is a cardiovascular exercise that can burn up to 350 calories per hour, depending on how much you weigh and how vigorously you dance. It’s a full-body workout that works your arms, legs, abdominal muscles, and glutes.
Salsa dancing will also improve your balance, flexibility, and coordination. If you do it non-stop, it elevates your heart rate enough to offer cardiovascular benefits and you can burn up to 350 calories per hour.
Salsa dancing also offers additional health benefits such as improved mental health, stress reduction, and increased self-esteem. The music and positive vibes are a confidence booster. Ready to salsa?
2. Ballet For Fitness
Ballet, while not what springs to mind when thinking about dancing cardio workouts, is still a great dance when it comes to overall fitness. Remember those childhood days when you’d sit for hours in front of the television, mesmerized by the graceful ballet dancers who graced the screen and how coordinated they were?
What you might not have realized is that ballet can be a great fitness choice for women of all ages, and you don’t have to be a ballet dancer to enjoy its benefits. Whether you’re a professional dancer or just beginning to learn, ballet will improve your health and fitness.
Though not as major of a calorie burner as some of the other dances, ballet is an ideal form of dance for boosting core strength, balance, and flexibility. Ballet is an excellent option for older adults looking for ways to increase strength and flexibility without straining their joints.
Ballet also improves posture by making you stand up straight and elongating your muscles. As a result, you will look taller and slimmer. It’s hard not to hold your head a little higher after completing a ballet workout!
3. Belly Dancing Cardio Workout
The movements of belly dancing are a definite contrast to the smooth, graceful movements of ballet but each form of dance has health and fitness benefits. Belly dance has been a practice for thousands of years, although it has evolved over time. Modern belly dance is an athletic form of dance that both men and women can enjoy.
One of the common myths about belly dancing is that it is only a form of entertainment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Belly dance has real health benefits, especially when it comes to strengthening your core muscles. Strong core muscles also help relieve back pain, improve posture, and boost your self-confidence. Belly dancing also increases muscle mass in your thighs, hips, and upper body.
Toning and strengthening your abdominal muscles, improving balance, flexibility and posture are all benefits of belly dancing. Belly dancing will boost your respiratory rate and heart rate enough to get cardiovascular benefits too. Plus, it’s a calorie burner. Feeling a little tight? Belly dancing also boosts flexibility through its fluid movements.
4. Freestyle Dancing For Fat Loss
Freestyle dancing is another dancing cardio workout and easily accessible for anyone to do, and it’s great for people of all ages, even children. Freestyle dancing burns calories, boosts muscle endurance, and increases flexibility.
Freestyle can also be a form of self-expression and creativity. Plus, you’ll learn new moves that will help you feel more confident in social situations. It’s a mood elevator too. You’ll quickly discover the freedom of movement of your body without restraints is healing for your mind too.
When you freestyle dance, you need music, so you can improve and synchronize your moves with the melody. You can freestyle dance anywhere, including at home or in your own living room.
Before starting freestyle dancing, choose the proper attire. Select comfortable clothing that allows for free movement of your arms and legs. You don’t need special shoes for freestyle dancing. If anything, it’s better to wear shoes with soft soles or no shoes at all so you can feel the ground beneath you as you move.
5. Zumba Dancing For Weight Loss
Zumba is a fun, high-energy dance workout that provides an effective cardiovascular workout, and when you combine it with good nutrition, is an effective way to shed pounds.
Zumba classes feature an energetic, fast-paced warm-up, followed by hip-shaking salsa, merengue, or cumbia music. During the hour or so that a class lasts (usually 60 minutes), participants perform a variety of dance moves using their bodies to follow the rhythms.
Does it have health and fitness benefits? You bet! An intense Zumba workout can burn equivalent calories to running. If you’re looking for a super-calorie burner that doesn’t involve pounding the pavement, Zumba could be the perfect solution for you.
The music in Zumba is made to make you move, and by the end of a class, most people are drenched in sweat but smiling because of what they just accomplished. You’ll burn more calories than you would if you did traditional exercises such as aerobics or jogging.
Like other forms of dance, Zumba is a great way to relieve stress. Being stressed can lead to weight gain, insomnia, and other health problems. Even if it’s just for an hour once a week, Zumba can be part of a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and sleep routines.
The Bottom Line
If running or walking sounds too boring, why not try one of the above dancing cardio workouts and dance your way to fitness? There are a lot of options and you could have some great fun! Give it a try and pick the one you’ll enjoy doing most!
Barranco-Ruiz Y, Paz-Viteri S, Villa-González E. Dance Fitness Classes Improve the Health-Related Quality of Life in Sedentary Women. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 26;17(11):3771. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17113771. PMID: 32466496; PMCID: PMC7312518
Zoe Taylor has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and is an avid runner and fitness writer. Zoe works with BodyCapable by researching and writing cardio-related content. In her spare time, Zoe runs marathons, keeps up to date with the latest fitness trends, and enjoys walking her dog!
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