Dancing as Exercise: Does it Work?

As long as your dancing gets your heart rate up and makes you feel great, it qualifies as a good workout!

Dancing helps build muscles, balance and tones the legs. It also helps maintain flexibility. If you like to dance, you may wonder if simply dancing can be a good fitness routine. It can absolutely be if it meets the standards listed below.

Increases Heart Rate

Exercise physiologist Catherine Cram, MS, of Comprehensive Fitness Consulting in Middleton, Wisconsin says: “It depends on the type of dancing and your skill level. Once someone gets to the point where they're getting their heart rate up, they're actually getting a terrific workout.”

Performed Safely

To make sure you don’t get injured or at least reduce the risk of injury, it is recommended that the back is kept straight while dancing. Also, make sure you perform warm up and cool down routines before you start dancing, and stop when you feel yourself becoming fatigued.

Offers Other Benefits

If your dancing provides social contact, it may help ward off or decrease depression. While not all dance exercise routines require partners, many dance routines do. If you have noticed you are becoming socially withdrawn, join a dance class or attend dance outings several nights a week. This will give you a chance to make contact with other people and exercise at the same time.

Motivates You

It keeps you motivated. Dance exercise videos such as “DanceX - Total Body Cardio” can help you stay moving. Because there is a wide variety available, you can change your routines so that you do not become bored.


As always when starting an exercise program, check with your doctor first. Inform he or she that you are considering dancing for exercise and ask if there is any reason you should not do this type of exercise. Also, ask for specifics on any movements that you should not do such as deep dips that may put a lot of stress on hip or knee joints.

dance for exercise, home exercise, home workouts

  • Exercise.com (exercise)


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