HEALTH BEAT

Everyone has gone through the arduous task of finding an exercise regimen that works best, trying to fit it into an already hectic schedule and attempting not to succumb to boredom and a particularly tiresome

Everyone has gone through the arduous task of finding an exercise regimen that works best, trying to fit it into an already hectic schedule and attempting not to succumb to boredom and a particularly tiresome routine.

A conscious decision has to be made and maintained, but there’s another way to a healthy body that’s virtuously effortless: dancing.

Often, people forget that dancing is a form of exercise and an excellent way to get in shape. Not only does dancing target the same areas as traditional workouts but it’s also fun.

In a November 2000 article in Ebony magazine titled “Dancing Your Way To Good Health,” experts say, “Dancing possesses the major components of any fitness regimen: stretching, resistance training and aerobics. It can burn as many calories as other workouts.”

Dancing boosts your energy level and overall physical health, and it eases stress which in turn lightens your mood. How many times have you been overwhelmed by life and then your favorite song comes on and you immediately begin to feel better?

Chicago dance instructor Viola Elkins brings up many benefits to dancing, citing focus, grace and release. Elkins says, “Each style of dance offers a different prize. Ballet may teach balance and poise, whereas reggae may yield sensuality and freedom.”

It is important to determine the type of dance routine that is best for you. Fitness experts Constance and Courtney Bennett explain, “Dance achieves what poetry achieves, by connecting the body with the mind into something extraordinary. One is inspired, uplifted and motivated.”

There are many dance fitness classes offered right here on campus at the Student Recreation Center (IBC). Some of these classes provide an atmosphere in which you don’t feel like you’re exercising, almost like dancing at a club or party.

Speaking of parties, going to a Spades party (the famous social gathering that usually takes place every other Thursday at the Orchid Room) will give you a good workout. Not only will your body be sore from dancing all night and working muscles you forgot you even had, you will also sweat–a lot. Everyone who has been to one knows what I’m talking about. And if you’ve never been there, try going to the next one.

Exercising and staying healthy is all about finding the routine that works best for you and sticking to it. But it doesn’t hurt to try something different and a little more exciting.

Dancing is definitely a great way to get in shape. It just might be something that works out for you.

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