The truth about dance…


So did any of you see the BBC programme “The Truth about Fitness”? As a health psychologist who tries to keep up with research through continuous professional development (CPD), it included a great deal  I already knew; such as HIT (high intensity interval training), the idea that will-power is like a muscle that gets fatigued, 30 mins of brisk walking being better than 10,000 steps etc. However I was pleased to learn that we release natural cannabinoids into our blood stream when we exercise and also that running is not so bad for our knees after all.  I was also pleased to know that I can do 10 sit-to-stands in 10 seconds (rather than 15 which is the usual for a woman of my age).

I was not surprised at all about the research on dance being good for our brains as well as our body. This obviously does not include doing your own thing at a night club; it refers to partner dancing or any other type of dancing when you have to follow a pattern and use memory, quick thinking and observation. This will therefore include Zumba, line dancing, ballet and circle dancing… And it is not true that some people have two left feet (just as it is not true that some people are tone deaf.) It may take some people longer to learn how to dance if they are poorly co-ordinated and maybe find it hard to hear the rhythm in the music, but they can still have a go… And men – if you can dance it is a great way to impress a woman!

So get your dancing shoes on and improve your cognitive skills as well as getting fitter.