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Just One Thing...and a couple of others about dance!

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

If you were going to do Just One Thing each day to improve your health and wellbeing, a new BBC Radio 4 Series tells us, dancing is one of them!

Dr Michael Mosley, investigates a number of activities that are scientifically proven to change your life and that is precisely where dance is spinning its magic.

The Benefits of Dance

Dance improves memory, boosts immune system, enhances heart and brain health, improves mood, supports good posture and flexibility, aids sleep, decreases stress, reduces hypertension and increases our ability to be empathic towards others. Latest research also reveals that dancing can be as effective as high intensity interval training. What’s not to like?

Research into Dance, Physical and Mental Health

Here’s some of the research sited by Dr Mosley:

  • A study of 50,000 adults over 12 years showed that dancing, compared to ‘other activities’, was linked to a reduced risk of stroke or heart attack.

  • A Korean study trialled dance as a way of treating depressed adolescents. After 12 weeks, there were significant improvements in self-reported scores for psychological distress and raised levels of serotonin, a mood-stabilizing hormone.

  • A study of older adults revealed that frequent dancing was associated with 76% reduced risk of developing dementia.

Dr Mosley explains that brain imaging studies show that dancing increases the volume of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with spatial memory. Dance increases this volume more than traditional fitness exercises.

Dance has also been shown to improve ‘white matter’, the number of nerve cells in areas of the brain associated with processing speed and memory. Again, this was not seen in groups doing other forms of exercise.

Dr Mosley concludes that:

‘Dancing is a good workout for pretty much every system in the body’. He says that including dance in your routine for only 10 minutes a day, really could benefit your body and your life.

Fitness and Health

And while we’re on the benefits of dance, just a couple more things…

I asked some participants at flomotion, who wear fitness or activity trackers to log their steps and calorie count during a 2 hour flomotion dance session. The results were impressive: the dancers covered an average of 11,000 steps during the session and between 300 and 400 calories were burnt. And all whilst having fun and feeling connected to other people.

Dance Builds Community

Of course, dancing at flomotion not only bestows all the health benefits as outlined by Dr Mosley and smart watches, it also addresses one of the biggest challenges of the modern era – loneliness - by offering a genuinely open and friendly space that is reliably welcoming to new and old faces.

Even after the Covid period of social isolation, there is evidence that we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic’, which not only comes at an emotional cost, but also has serious implications for physical health.

Social Isolation

A recent piece of academic research from Brigham Young University undertook:

‘…a large-scale meta-analysis on social isolation and loneliness, consisting of over 200 studies and 3.7 million participants…research suggests that prolonged periods of loneliness and isolation can have serious adverse effects, including heart disease, stroke, depression, and premature death. “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators.’ (Source: Psychology Today 3/12/21)

Meditation for Wellbeing

Add in the meditation that is also involved in flomotion, it is turning out to take on health and wellbeing benefits of uber proportions. Meditation is increasingly practiced in many contexts from business executives wanting to stay sharp and focused, to sports coaching and mental health treatments. There is plenty of well-researched data to back this up.

So if you are looking for something for mind, body and soul, look no further…

Welcome to flomotion!

Further Listening:

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