Sometimes just running on a treadmill or lifting dead weight isn't enough to motivate you to work out. Pumping music and fast-changing moves make dance exercises a more entertaining choice. Contemporary dance exercises will challenge you physically and thrill you mentally, and you can perform them in a gym or in your own home. Dance exercises are particularly useful as cardio and core workouts. Drawing upon different genres of movement, the many types of dance exercises means that there is something for everyone.
Group dance classes are perfect for social exercisers who want to use the activity to interact with like-minded people. Attendees of exercise classes that incorporate Latin dance movements such as salsa and merengue are encouraged to trill their tongues and yell out in passionate euphoria as they swivel and jump in the gym. Zumba and Pon de FLO are examples of Latin dance workouts that will have you working up a sweat while you twist and shout. When you shake your dumbbells to the beat, you might not notice how hard you are working your biceps. Participation dance classes like this inspire a sense of community, which may motivate you to continue working out more than a solitary routine will.
Some contemporary dance classes incorporate sexy moves from exciting inspirations such as belly dance and pole dance. Pump up your muscles while you pump up your self-esteem. The exercises for dance classes that emphasize feminine curves are challenging, and at times use muscles that other workouts may forget, but the low-impact moves are safe for most types of bodies. There is a lot of core strengthening involved, but the daring fun of pelvic thrusting makes the workout feel harmless; until you realize how sore you are the next day. Empowering dance workouts improve your psyche along with your body.
The move combinations and fast pacing of dance exercise routines challenge your mind while you reshape your body. A study published in 2003 in the "New England Journal of Medecine" revealed that subjects who did ballroom dance twice a week were less likely to develop dementia. Just about any exercise causes your brain to release chemicals that build nerves, but dance is even more of a brain booster because the memorization required to follow along acts as a brain teaser. Regularly participating in dance exercises can improve your memory skills.
Contemporary dance classes offer a thrill for the adventurous in workout routines with acrobatic elements. Specialty gyms offer exercises that incorporate circus-worthy feats including trapeze flying, aerial silk twirling and floating hoop dancing. These exercises borrow moves from modern dance, ballet and acrobatics for a hard-core challenge to your thighs, core, biceps and triceps using suspended hoops. Fly through the air while performing dance movements that shed fat and build muscle.
Meredith Berg received her B.F.A. in directing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Now living in Los Angeles, she works as a film and television writer, comic-book editor and director of plays and films. In addition, she loves tackling paleo recipes, workout routines and DIY projects.