Dancing As Exercise

old people dancing
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Folk dance! Its not only fun but its also terrific exercise. In a study of the benefits of an energetic Swedish folk dance known as the hambo, carried out at that countrys National Board of Occupational Safety and Health, scientists discovered just how terrific it is. They tested six female and six male dancers between the ages of fifty-six and sixty-six. While dancing, the men used an average of 70 percent of the maximum amount of oxygen their bodies were able to take in. This is the aerobic power. Exercise that uses more than 60 percent of aerobic power is usually thought to achieve the training effect. It increases fitness, strengthening in particular the heart and lungs. The effect for women was even greater; they used an average of 90 percent of their aerobic power.

In boosting fitness, any kind of dancing is currently a popular and trendy pursuit for people eager to get in shape and stay there. Doctors caution, however, while vigorous dancing can be healthy, its important to know your limits. Join in carefully at first, especially if you havent exercised for a while. Dancing as part of a group is so exhilarating that its easy to overdo without realizing it. In fact, if you imagine it might be a strain, be sure to speak with your doctor before starting especially if you havent exercised in a while.

For most people, dancing, whether folk, rock and roll, jazz, salsa or tango, has other benefits, too. Its done in a group so you get to socialize. If youre a couple, it offers quality touching time. And its simple to learn (were not suggesting Dancing with the Stars!) and it can be done year-round. So if youve been looking for a good aerobic exercise and jogging or the gym isnt your thing, find a dance group in your community and spend couple of days a week enjoying the tango, jig, polka or folk and dosy-doh your partner!About the Author: Robin Westen writes about health for national magazinesSee what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.
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