Can We Dance to Be Smarter?
We all know the things we do for ourselves and our own well being will enhance what we can do for others in life, and in business. We’ve all heard it before, “put on your own oxygen mask first so you have the resources to help others.” In essence, when we do this, we are in a position to make smarter decisions, we are in a place to give. As entrepreneurs helping others with our gifts is usually at the core of why we work so hard.
The question then becomes, why do we so often avoid the oxygen, the workout, the dance that will fuel us?
I love to change things up and find new ways to be creative with my “oxygen supply.” After a long and brutal winter, I am getting back to doing all the things I know will feed me oxygen, increase joy…I’m getting back to strength training and dance to be smarter. I am excited to be incorporating a lifestyle shift for myself and of course, I want to bring you along!
To inspire you, give you a little nudge, help you find a little magic in your Monday, here are some proven facts of the benefits of dance and strength training . I’ve also created a fun list of 30 Moves for 30 Days that will surely make you want to get up boogie and bust a move!
But, let’s start here:
Dancing and strength training provide many benefits which will help boost creativity and increase cognitive skills, making us smarter and better decision makers in business! Studies have shown that actives such as these can increase blood flow and oxygen and grow new neurons in the brain, reduce blood pressure and improve heart health, increase bone density, and even reduce dementia by 76%! They may also reduce memory loss and Alzheimer’s Disease. Maybe it’s time to give some extra attention to Your Brilliant Brain and Your Loving Heart and do a little dance break in your living room today. (see source links below.)
Some of the many benefits of dance and strength training:
- Endorphins – (what I like to call the Happy Factor)
- Heart Health / Cardiovascular Conditioning
- Calories Burned / Weight Loss
- Flexibility / Joint Health
- Stress Relief / Freedom from Thought
- Creativity / Self Expression
- Muscle Strength / Muscle Toning
- Brain Health / Memory
- Stronger Bones / Bone Density
- Sense of Self worth / Self Satisfaction
- Energy / Metabolism
- Partnering / Team Work
- Understanding of Music and Rhythm
Here is a fun way to get started. 30 Moves for 30 Days.
Pick the ones you like in random order or follow it along for 30 days. Either way, be sure to comment below, share on FB and Tweet to check in with me and let me know how it’s going. I’ve included some of my older videos that still apply and may make it even more fun for you.
- Put on your favorite tunes and see what happens: Music feeds us, it magically seems to speak to our mood and emotion. This is absolutely one of my favorite things to do. Here is a video I made about this a few years ago that still applies:
- Take a dance class: Many places offer drop-in classes, just find one that interests you and try it.
- Jump around with your children: I call it Silly Dance. They will love it and so will you.
- Walk up and down your stairs several times: You’d be surprised what it can do.
- Give your self a Full Body Stretch Session: Grab a yoga mat or a towel and be gentle with yourself.
- Take a walk for a triple whammy: Try to leave technology behind, find time in nature and move your bod. BAM!
- Pop in a dance workout DVD: I’ll bet you have some stored away, dust it off and give it a second go-round.
- Go out dancing: Rally up some people you love and go have fun on the dance floor.
- Host a movement party: Ladies night – Have the girls over for a dance jam!
- Get on the treadmill or elliptical: If you can’t get out, but you have one of these available… you know what to do.
- Workout out with free weights: THIS is imperative. I highly recommend you find a way to incorporate using free weights. Building lean muscle is key component to health and fitness. Did you know that just 5 lbs of lean muscle can burn up to 50 additional calories, while at rest, per day?
- Do a 10 minute free workout. Check if your television provider has a “fit” channel with free classes.
- Put your (young and fairly small) child on your legs and have fun with airplane.
- Get a pull up bar: OMG, guys! This can change your life. Put up a pull up bar in a place you pass often. Hang, stretch, pull. You’ll love it.
- Dance around your living room: My favorite thing to do. We call it a ‘Slater Dance Break’ at my house.
- Do a set of 2nd position plie squats: Aka wide stance squats. But, I’m a dancer. So 2nd position is it.
- Do push ups: Start where you are. If it’s one, it’s one. See how many you can do by the end of the week. It will increase as you continue and you will feel great.
- Try a super set: 2nd position plies and then pushups (try this: 3 sets of 15 before the end of the day).
- Do yoga: for a multi-beneficial workout and mediation.
- Learn about Gyrotonics and try a session or a class.
- Do planks: A good goal is to get to where you can hold for at least 1 minute – three times.
- Do multi joint / compound moves for coordination and toning: Any time you engage two or more different joints you also stimulate multiple muscles, creating greater effect for the nervous and metabolic systems. (Ex: burpees, or forward lunch with shoulder press)
- Dance with your spouse. Anywhere, anytime – this connection can be a gift to both of you.
- Take an ab challenge and work toward a stronger core.
- Try this tondu series for your legs: It’s an older video of mine, but it works great.
- Do leg swings to release your hips: These are amazing and will even increase your heart-rate, too.
- Take on Salsa, Cha Cha and Merengue to learn Cuban motion: Oh la la.
- Upon waking, gently stretch your body before doing anything else: Hang over gently and release your spine.
- Relevé while you work: These are the same as basic calf raises, try them in various positions and do a few sets while you are standing in your office.
- Have Happy Feet! Feet are often the Forgotten Body Part: Do simple ankle circles or draw the alphabet in the air with your toes.
Even though feeling great can be enough, here are a few amazing scientific studies that support how you can do strength training and dance to be smarter:
- A New England Journal of Medicine report showed that people who danced on a regular basis had a reduced risk of dementia by 76%. A study with close to 500 subjects showed that among leisure activities, dancing was associated with the reduced risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as decline in memory. (Source: Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly: http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa022252)
- Here is a fantastic list of the Benefits of Dance that I came across on the website for the National Registry of Dance. It breaks down these benefits into lifestyle categories and is beautifully done. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (Source: http://www.nrde.org/benefitsofdance.html)
- Some great news from Dr. Mercola’s recent blog post where he shares how it’s never too late for your brain to regenerate brain cells. He states that your brain’s memory center has the ability to grow new cells well into the later years in life as long as we provide what the body needs. (Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/10/24/strength-training-improves-memory.aspx)
To Your Inspired Success!