Strictly get fit

Don’t be put off by the so-called Strictly curse and antics of Sean and Katya. If you want to get fitter but the gym just isn’t up your street, why not check out a local dance class and give it a whirl?

Strictly is back on the screen, enthusing us with sequins, gowns and extreme loveliness! Lost in among all the glitz, glamour and hot gossip is the fact that dancing gets you fit… very fit! Just ask the celebrities who shed pounds in training and discovered muscles they never knew they had.

If you’re looking to lose a dollop of pre-Christmas weight and have a blast on the way while making a whole host of new friends, get dancing!

Here are some of benefits:

Calorie and fat burning: Dancing is a great way to raise your heart rate. You can burn more than 400 calories an hour, helping with weight management.

Improved coordination, agility and flexibility: Often your upper body and arms are moving in one direction, while your lower body and legs are doing something completely different. Keeping agile and flexible is especially important to maintain as you grow older.

Improve concentration: Dancing is a mind workout too as you learn and remember new steps.

Full body workout: Aside from heart-health benefits, dance provides a workout for the whole body. From head and shoulder rolls that loosen up the neck and warm up the upper body, to footwork that strengthens and stretches calves and ankles.

Improved muscle tone and strength: Dancing really makes your muscles work hard, which helps to maintain and improve strength.

Strengthen bones: Stronger bones helps reduce risk of osteoporosis.

Increased aerobic fitness: Moving to the music is fantastic for aerobic fitness, building endurance and increasing the condition of your heart and lungs.

Stress buster: Dance movement releases endorphins, improving your mood and helping reduce depression and anxiety.

Increased confidence: Feel good in your body and mind and you will feel more confident too.

Makes exercise fun: You might find it hard to get excited about hopping on a treadmill but dancing is so much fun you’ll actually want to keep coming back for more.

It’s for everyone: There are classes for all levels and types, kids to grandparents.

It’s social: Dancing provides a great way to meet fun and like-minded people.

So, if you’re feeling inspired and want to learn a new skill, get fit and meet new people, dancing could be a great form of exercise for you.

KNOW YOUR DANCE

Tango – One of the most popular Latin dances that requires precision and control, a strong frame and core.

Salsa – It’s all about moving those hips and sweeping your partner across the dance floor. A spicy, energetic dance where you often change partner so it’s mighty social too.

Waltz – One of the most popular and romantic ballroom dances. The soft, continuous movement and weight-transfers make for a really positive aerobic activity

Street dance – Involves a combination of moves such as popping, locking, hip hop and breaking. This is a proper cardio workout that’s good for helping improve bone density.

Ballet – Classic dance that involves balance, control and flexibility and we know at least one octogenarian who loves it, so there’s no excuses.

Zumba – Dance-inspired fitness class that’s great for beginners with easy-to-follow steps that guarantee a moderate to high intensity aerobic workout.