How cardio dance eases stress, pain and tired­ness

First For Women - - Health -

Groov­ing to the mu­sic can be pow­er­fully heal­ing: Dance low­ers anx­i­ety lev­els by 54%—that’s 44% more ef­fec­tive than med­i­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to a study in the jour­nal Com­ple­men­tary Ther­a­pies in Medicine. “Dance is just the right kind of move­ment to re­set the stress sys­tem,” says Har­vard-trained hor­mone ex­pert Sara Got­tfried, M.D., au­thor of Younger. That’s be­cause it trig­gers the brain to in­crease the pro­duc­tion of mood- and en­ergy-boost­ing hor­mones like dopamine while di­al­ing back the pro­duc­tion of stress hor­mones like cor­ti­sol. “You have the abil­ity to move cor­ti­sol through your body through move­ment,” adds Dr. Got­tfried. That means the shim­my­ing and shak­ing will help get rid of the ex­cess hor­mones pulling you into a cy­cle of stress and anx­i­ety.

An­other ben­e­fit: The con­nec­tion you feel with your body while danc­ing im­proves con­fi­dence and body image, fur­ther bright­en­ing your mood. What’s more, mov­ing to the beat is a to­tal-body work­out, en­gag­ing mus­cles from head to toe to help you trim

inches, tone trou­ble spots and ease aching joints.

To get the ben­e­fits, fol­low Stephanie Scott’s lead and try danc­ing around your liv­ing room for 30 min­utes three to five days a week. You can dance on your own to your fa­vorite tunes or try an in­struc­tor-led pro­gram like CIZE, Beach­body.com.

“I wor­ried I’d be tired on days I ex­er­cised,” shares Stephanie. “But I ac­tu­ally feel more en­er­gized and hap­pier af­ter I dance!”

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