One of the reasons often cited as being a major cause of the ongoing obesity crisis is the inactivity that so many people are guilt of. In the last 50 years cost saving devices have created a very sedentary society. It is not common for entire families to be very overweight or obese. Many people get no exercise at all from one week to the next. This is really a terrible state of affairs.
However, even amongst those that know that their inactivity is the cause of their weight problems and will likely lead to more ill-health in the future, there are many people who still do not exercise. Why? The most common reasons for not exercising are:
- I do not have time to exercise
- I cannot afford gym membership
- I do not know how to exercise
There are obviously many more excuses that people use to avoid exercising. The only person being cheated when theses exercises are used is the individual using them. Exercise is vital to healthy and weight management.
Dancing is the most basic form of fitness.
What is really most shocking though is the suggestion that exercise is something complex that needs to be learned or bought from a club. Humans have been exercising since time began. Exercise is an extremely natural activity. In fact, one sports researcher, Christopher McDougall, believes that humans are born to run. Anecdotal evidence provides support for the idea that the most natural way for people to travel is in a running group, much like the huddles which form in long distance races. Being a part of the group provides protection and motivation for all the runners.
However, the fact that running is the most simple and effective way to get fit and lose weight is not the reason for this article. Here I wish to put forward the idea that we all should be dancing. For if running is the natural way for humans to travel and to hunt, then dancing is the natural way for people to relax and have fun.
I am not aware of a single culture where dancing is not used as a way for people to socialise, to celebrate or to for new partnerships. Dance is for celebration and a way to attract a new mate. It is not restructured to humans, many animals will dance to impress a mate. Dancing is an affective way to quickly raise heart rate and release the feel good hormone, endorphin. But the main reason why we should all dance is because it is another form of exercise which is so natural that you can get a great workout without any instruction. Just put on some music and start moving. Develop your own steps and turns and soon you will be working out at an intensity to match the average runner, but you will be in the safety and comfort of your home and having fun. Invite your family or friends to join you and try to dance to an entire album if you can. 45 minutes of dancing will get you fit and burn a lot of fat. No classes required.
One of the up and coming fitness classes at the moment is Zumba. This is essentially a basic primeval type of dance. Raw, passionate, energetic dancing with lots of big steps, jumps, knee raises, skips and turns. Simple, effective and fun. So what is stopping you from dancing tonight?
Marcia Gomes grew up in Brazil where dancing formed a major party of her childhood and teenage life. This natural way of getting fit has been a great benefit since and helped in all other types of fitness. She now specialises in yoga workouts for moms as well as Brazilian Dance Workouts.