Posted on Jan 19, 2024, 6 p.m.
Are you trying to lose weight but having trouble finding an exercise routine that you can stick with? Do you like music and having fun? If so, you should consider dancing to shake away those unwanted pounds. According to a study published in PLOS ONE, dancing is a sustainable effective intervention for weight loss.
“As a form of physical activity that integrates exercise, entertainment, and sociality, dance possesses innate advantages in fostering motivation for exercise,” the authors wrote.
Research shows that if you enjoy an activity the chances are more likely that you will stick with it over the long term. Luckily dancing is fun, and it is also exercise. It functions as a mode of expression and has a wide range of styles that can be performed alone or in groups. The different styles vary in demands for carrying out physical movements and degrees of proficiency, and there are almost non-existent requirements for specific exercises which allows dancing to cater to the exercise needs of the specific individual who may have health conditions. The flexibility of dance makes it an excellent choice for people to develop long-term exercise habits.
654 studies from 7 databases with dance interventions and control groups of normal lifestyle or normal physical activity were identified, of these 10 were eligible involving 646 participants with overweight or obesity. The meta-analysis revealed that compared to normal lifestyle/normal physical activity, dancing interventions resulted in greater improvements in body mass, BMI, waist circumference, fat, and fat mass among those with overweight or obesity.
“Dance is effective on fat loss in people with overweight and obesity, and has a significant improvement on body composition and morphology. For its high efficiency and greater sense of enjoyment, dance can be a beneficial exercise intervention for fat loss,” wrote the authors.
Having fun while dancing can lead to significant improvements in body fat, fat mass, waist circumference, and body mass among those who are overweight or obese, according to the researchers. Dance also helps enhance physical fitness, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, cognitive functions, as well as mental health, and it may help to manage diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.
Exercise is the gold standard for weight loss and treating health conditions, but many people find it difficult to adhere to an exercise routine over the long term. This study suggests that dancing is a social and enjoyable form of exercise that may be an alternative solution for sustaining an exercise routine because it is likely to be more enjoyable.
The authors wrote that “As a form of aerobic exercise, dance necessitates an intervention duration of at least 3 months to yield substantial effects on body composition. The overall dropout of the dance group was low. On the whole, Dance can be effectively advocated as a viable fat loss program for people with overweight and obesity, owing to the inherent enjoyability of dance which makes participants more likely to sustain.”
The authors concluded that “Dance can effectively ameliorate body composition among people with overweight and obesity. Simultaneously with fat loss, dance preserves and enhances the body morphology of the participants. Moreover, dance is particularly well-suited for the young population (<45 years) as a substitute for traditional exercise protocols in terms of fat loss. Duration lasting for more than 3 months, along with creative dance forms, is more conducive to achieving clinical objectives related to improvements in body composition.”
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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References/Sources/Materials provided by:
T.W. at WHN
Is dancing an effective intervention for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis of dance interventions on body composition © 2024 Zhang et al
Yaya Zhang, Zhicheng Guo, Yin Liu, Yongxu Zhou, Longjun Jing
Published: January 17, 2024 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0296089