You’re not a fitness buff. You don’t want to spend hours in a gym, sweating the stuff. You want a workout that’s less work, more fun. Something you’ll stick with for the rest of your life.

Care to dance?

NOT YET. But the writing is already on the wall. In trend-setter countries like the United States, strenuous exercise forms like high-impact aerobics as well as other heart-pounding regimes are slowly yielding ground to softer, slower, less rigorous disciplines – like yoga, tai chi, good old walking, and – what is, essentially, rhythmic walking – the tried-and tested forms of Western social dance.

If you’re looking for a workout that has not only physical pay-offs but emotional and spin-offs as well, you might give serious consideration to dances like the Samba or the Tango – a range that runs from the Foxtrot to the Rumba, from the Jive to Paso Doble, from the Quickstep to the Viennese Waltz.

Here’s why:

It’s low-impact!

In ballroom, or in social dance, you’re not tearing your ligaments, pounding your joints or damaging your nerves – all attendant risks in high-impact aerobic dance. But you’re getting the benefits of physical conditioning all right. As you go backward, forward, spin and sway, you’re working on many things. You’re moving, you’re on your feet (weight-bearing exercise), you’re lengthening and twisting your body for dips and swirls, you’re using coordination, maintaining balance, honing flexibility. And, especially where you’re using fancy footwork, you’re developing grace.

Many teachers say dancing is just rhythmic walking and may well enable you to walk with more balance and grace.

It’s adaptable!

Dance has so many variants and variations that, depending on your inclinations and your expectations from exercise, you can choose from among: the sedate Fox-trot and the English Waltz; the sensual Argentine Tango; the perky Cha Cha Cha; and so many more. If you do want to build up to aerobic level, step up to the pulse-quickening Viennese Waltz.

In fact, dance can be such a physical challenge that Ballroom Dance now has provisional status as an Olympic Sport!

It’s for everyone…almost!

Unless you’re bed-ridden or otherwise severely disabled, you can find some dance or other that you can comfortably, even skillfully, do.

You can have glaucoma and only peripheral vision – your partial blindness dies not stop you from dancing. Some experts who has been teaching dance for over 40 years, affirms that doctors often send patients (such as accident victims or those who have suffered injuries like arm dislocations) to learn dance during their rehabilitation period. Many of these referring doctors have found out for themselves the therapeutic value of dance.

Unlike high-impact aerobic dance or jazzercise, you don’t have to be physically fit as a pre-requisite to taking up non-discotheque dancing. Provided you stay within your limitations, you can be suffering from hypertension, diabetes, even joint problems – and still dance.

For long years, arthritis patients have been told what not to do in terms of physical activity. Today, doctors are encouraging arthritic patients to take up mild to moderate activity. And some arthritic patients have discovered, on their own, that some footwork on the dance floor can be marvelous medicine for their stiffness and pains.

(However, if you’re an arthritic patient or suffer from any kind of physical disability, first get the go-ahead from your doctor. If you have a severely inflamed joint, it may be too painful to dance. Also, some chronic illness can affect organs like the heart, which means that you may have to take it easy in the beginning and gradually build up).

It’s medicine for the mind!

Just learning and practicing and successfully performing your dance steps adds immensely to self-confidence. You’ve learnt a new skill – you can do it! – and that’s a potent potion to boost anyone’s self-esteem.

Dancing also allows a lot of emotional expression. And that helps to release bottled-up feelings, to lift your spirits. Experts talk of divorcees who have come to them – again, on medical advice – to get over the depression and other negative feelings that arise in the aftermath of the martial break-up.

As far as its spirit-boosting, exhilarating effects go, dance is a no-age-barrier activity. As grandpa and grandma take to the floor, and as they experience the enjoyment, the pizazz, the sheer exhilaration that comes from dancing, they feel like re-cycled teenagers all over.

How to get started?

Word of mouth is the best way to go when you’re deciding which dance class you should join. All the same, ask whether it’s possible to observe a lesson before you join up. If it is, then one of the things you must do is to take a good look at the instructor while he/she is teaching. Is he/she a leader or a teacher? A leader will simply walk you through a routine. A teacher will reach out to his/her students and make sure they have good posture and technique.

His/her own posture should be elegant. Not stiff or stooped, because the pupil will tend to mirror the teacher.

Once you start, you’re very likely to get hooked. And as you tune in and tone up, you may even find yourself singing a new tune, the one like ‘Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?’

Author's Bio: 

The more you read, the more you know; the more you know, the more you understand; the more you understand, the more you become happier and relaxed. And I think happiness and relaxation is what we all need. I welcome all my brothers and sisters to nurture the habit of reading and to earn their own understating towards life. For your innermost wellness – joy, bliss and beyond, read for a few minutes a day. Also, stay informed @ Balanced Lifestyle Wikipedia about genuine reviews of the trendy products like Lean Belly Breakthrough, Grow Taller 4 Idiots, Masszymes and many more to nourish and transform your everyday self.