Aerobic dance provides more than physical health benefits; aerobic dance can also be used to gain spiritual health benefits. Historically, dance has been used to gain self-confidence and to process emotions. The American Dance Therapy Association suggests using dance to help with many psychological disorders and to achieve better self-expression. Many aerobic exercise programs now incorporate dance moves and dance therapy, including Jazzercise and Bodystep, helping add fun to ordinary exercise and improve the mental health benefits of traditional gym workouts.
A study published in “Body Image” investigated the effects of a six-week aerobic dance program on two groups of participants, one engaged in normal physical education activities and one participating in aerobic dance. The study revealed that participating in aerobic dance significantly reduced body image dissatisfaction and improved self-perception and perceived self-worth, suggesting that with aerobic exercise, you too may improve your sense of self-worth, sense of attractiveness and self-esteem over time.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Neenu Khanna, Reebok aerobic dancercise trainer, suggests that aerobic dance and exercise helps release neurotransmitters and endorphins that increase physical feelings of well-being. This improves emotional and mental health, resulting in reduced tension, helping to decrease blood pressure and alleviating anxiety and stress about future ill health. It may also increase overall fitness, reducing your risk of obesity, which naturally reduces the stress and anxiety you may have about how you look or how you feel about your physical appearance. Zumba is another cardio workout that incorporates aerobic dance moves in a lighthearted atmosphere, helping you relax and enjoy fitness in a fun and exciting way.
Aerobic dance therapy is also a platform for expanding consciousness and self-awareness, giving you a platform to release stored up emotions. Many people find that during the day, they battle constant stress, which forces the body to produce hormones, including cortisol. According to a 2011 report by "Harvard’s Men’s Health Watch," regular aerobic exercise can help combat the effects of cortisol and other chemicals released from stress, helping alleviate anxiety and depression, boost your spirits and raise your awareness.
Improved Personal Connections
Aerobic dance can also help you improve your communicative language and enhance your ability to expand your relationships with others. For centuries, dance has been used as a healing tool to improve relationships and as a non-verbal psychotherapeutic intervention for individuals that prefer to communicate in a non-verbal way. If you are looking for a method of learning how to communicate better with others, try aerobic dance therapy as a method for learning how to express yourself.
- Body Image: Effects of a 6-week aerobic dance intervention on body image and physical self-perceptions in adolescent girls.
- Psychology Today: Fulfillment at Any Age Five Steps to a Great Workout
- Complete Wellbeing: Dance Your Blues Away
- Harvard Health Publications: Benefits of Exercise: reduces stress, anxiety, and helps fight depression, from Harvard Men's Health Watch
- Health Care for Women International: Therapeutic Aspects of Aerobic Dance Participation
Athena Berger, founder of Best Communications, has been writing fitness and health articles since 2002. Her areas of expertise include therapy, mind body and exercise. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology. Her writing has appeared in many health and corporate publications including "Fitness."