Glitter to fitter

Strictly is back on our TV screens and lost among all the glitz and glamour is the fact that dancing gets you really fit 

Just ask the celebs who’ve been part of the biggest show on TV over the years – dancing gets you seriously fit and helps you lose shedloads of weight. This year’s line-up, which includes Redditch’s very own former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith paired with the legend that is Anton du Beke, faces weeks of gruelling training in the race to win the glitterball trophy.

Hopefully, they’ll find dancing great fun as well brilliant exercise – which is why if you’re looking to dump a dollop of pre-Christmas weight and have a blast on the way, while making a whole host of new friends, then… get dancing!

Here are just 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: Pandemic permitting, 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.