The Beat Goes On!
By Debra Staton, Wellness Coordinator for the Arkansas Health Network
February is American Heart Month and a time to focus on your cardiovascular health, which refers to the health of the heart and blood vessels. By adapting a healthy lifestyle, you can lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke.
A fun way to improve your heart health is dance. Dancing works your heart and lungs, which can improve your cardiovascular health. As you dance, your heart rate increases to pump more oxygenated blood to the muscles you are using. This increase in heart rate that comes with dancing will help strengthen your heart and keep the heart muscle conditioned.
Dancing can also be therapeutic. You can practice “mindfulness” while you dance. Mindfulness makes you aware and conscious of your bodily sensations as you breathe and follow your body’s movements. So listen to your heart and become one with you own body.
There is no pre-requisite to dancing:
- No partner, no worries—you can do it alone
- No money, no problem. It doesn’t cost a thing.
- No rhythm, no fear: dance with (and for) your heart and your feet will follow
A dose of dance is a fantastic way to keep stress away and release those feel good endorphins. Neurotransmitters are chemicals within the brain that are released when you dance. You can even allow yourself to be silly and let the tension flow from your body! Dancing will most definitely improve your mood, so take a whirl and let it go. If your body feels good, your mind will too.