By Tim Olszewski, MS RD LDN

 

Ever wonder why whenever your favorite song comes on the radio or pops up on your playlist, you find it hard to not tap your toes or nod your head to the beat, right? Well, it turns out your body is hardwired to use rhythmic movement to express itself. I know that’s the case for me. Whenever I am exercising to music or seeing a live show, I find it that I am rarely motionless.

 

Truth is dancing is a great form of physical activity. Moving to the music can bring people together, pace the exercisers to the beat, or even just be used as a motivational tool. In the last decade or so, researchers have been looking into music as a performance enhancer among exercise subjects. The results have ranged from showing that music can improve oxygen usage, making the body more efficient, and reducing the effects of pain and fatigue on the body during exercise.

 

So what does this mean for you? If you dance, whether on you are alone, with a partner, or in a group exercise class, you can use the music as a metronome to coordinate your movement. When the beat gets faster, the quality of exercise is improved. Music can also be used to encourage people to keep exercising. Music can act as a distraction to being tired or a catalyst to boost your activity level. You can find motivation in the beat of the bass, the riff of the guitar, or the emotion in the singer’s voice. You can grab a hold of the passion of the song and let it guide you through a dance or workout class.

 

You don’t have to have moves like a professional to enjoy dancing. Don’t just sit around and give in to the ambient droning of the ceiling fan. Turn up the music and dance!