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It’s World Heart Day – and if research is to be believed, it’s the best day to bring out those dancing shoes!
Researchers from Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney followed 48 thousand people over ten years to figure out how exercise affected their health outcomes. At the start of the study, none of these people had any heart disease.
What was unique about the study was that it was the first to track the impact of dance had on reducing the risk of death from heart disease. The results? I feel we need a drum roll for this…those who danced regularly had a whopping 46 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death over a decade compared to those who rarely or never danced!
46%? That’s literally halving your risk of death from heart disease. Isn’t that amazing?
This should be fairly obvious, but the study found that the best results came to people who were at least slightly out of breath or sweaty while dancing. Those who were doing gentle waltzes did not get the same benefit. Several traditional folk dances mimic the fast-slow mixed tempo of interval workouts. So researchers said that is another way to use it as a heart health exercise.
Researchers from the University of Sydney said and I quote – “the playful social interaction aspects of dancing which, when coupled with some more intense movement, can be a very powerful stress relief and heart health promoting pastime.” That’s basically scientist language for – It’s Great Fun! Remember – as we have said earlier at Sepalika – heart attacks happen, not because of clogged arteries, but because the heart is unable to de-stress and relax. What better way to fix this than to dance your worries away?’
Dance is addictive, so dancers are often dancers for life. From a heart health point exercise of view, this simply means that dancers don’t drop in and out as much as people in regular exercise classes do. We’ve all paid for annual gym memberships and dropped off within the first month, yes? Instead, if you’re naturally smiling and having fun, you don’t want to stop! Makes sense, right?
So go ahead. Dance those worries away and give your heart the loving, rhythmic massage that it so badly needs. Wish you all fantastic health and well being.
Dancing Participation and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 11 Population-Based British Cohorts: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26944521