Alternative Exercise-Thinking Outside the Gym with Dance

Posted on Oct 22, 2016

Posted in: Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re looking to cross train, or a couch potato trying to get back into a workout routine, dance is a wonderful place to start.

Not everyone fits into the treadmill, elliptical, weight lifting world.  For those of you that fall into this category or just want to change up your routine, we are going to be writing some posts that focus on thinking outside the gym.  Today we are focusing on dance.

We like to focus on healthy lifestyles and activities.  This blog has several great posts focusing on exercise, especially running.  If you’re a runner, that’s great.  We’re happy you found something you enjoy.  Others might more accurately describe their running experience by wearing a shirt like this.  everything hurts and I'm dying tank

The benefits of dance:

Great cardio workout-helps with weight loss, strengthens heart and lungs, increases bone density, better sleep

Increased flexibility-assists with posture, balance and reduces risk of injury during daily activities

Helps gain and maintain a healthy core– strengthens muscles, improves endurance, reduces chance of or helps with back pain, stronger performance in other athletic endeavors

Weight management– for the above listed reasons dance burns calories



There are several different types of dance: rumba

Ballroom-Swing, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot the possibilities are endless.  Bonus ballroom dance burns 400 calories an hour

Ballet-Adult ballet is becoming more popular with offerings like Barre classes, focusing on sculpting muscles, posture and balance.barre


Belly Dance-Shake and shimmy your stress away.  Belly dance is more than just shaking your hips.  It focuses on precise isolated movements of arms and ribs as well as hips

A little about my own experience.  I found my way into dance by chance.  I was trying to find a low impact exercise to improve my flexibility and maybe burn some calories at the same time.  My first idea was to enroll into a Pilates or yoga class.  Looking at the YMCA class list, these choices conflicted with my schedule.  Upon further review there was one class that fit with my availability- belly dance!  I had taken Dance Appreciation in college and really enjoyed it.  I was a little wary at first but after my first class I was hooked.

Admittedly during the first class I got a little sweaty and thought “This is fun, but not much of a workout.”  The next morning when I got out of bed I was proven wrong!  I quickly realized that you have several hip and inner thigh muscles that are taken for granted.

You can get started in a number of ways:

Look into local dance studios and see what interests you

If you belong to a gym check out their class lists

Community centers and colleges offer dance workshops

If you’re a little shy to try your moves out in public there are a variety of DVD’s and videos online

Like any exercise routine try a variety and see what speaks to you. If you’re looking to add to your routine or just get started dance is a great avenue.  The point is just to get out there and get moving.  Again not everyone fits into the gym routine and dance is a great way to think outside the gym.