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Put On Your Dancing Shoes

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That's what I did last Saturday night at a wedding. I danced my heart out and I'm still sore from it LOL!

I've always loved to dance & feel so carefree and light when I'm doing it so why don't I do it more often? One of my favourite mantras is "Moving More ... Eating Less" and dancing would definitely help me live up to it.

Dancing is so good for us for many reasons. Yup, I know it's a great form of exercise & because it's weightbearing it helps strengthen bones, which, of course, becomes more important as we age.

The Mayo Clinic reports that dancing helps
- Reduce stress
- Increase energy
- Improve strength
- Increase muscle tone and coordination

and

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says that dancing can:

- Lower your risk of coronary heart disease
- Decrease blood pressure
- Help you manage your weight
- Strengthen the bones of your legs and hips

All great reasons to dance more, but I didn't know that it improves blood flow to the brain (now I could definitely use more of that!) In fact, a 21 year study completed in 2003 at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that dancing helps prevent dementia - Alzheimer's & vascular dementia (the #2 form of dementia after Alzheimer's).

Dr. Verghese of the college stated that "dancing may be a triple benefit for the brain. Not only does the physical aspect of dancing increase blood flow to the brain, but also the social aspect of the activity leads to less stress, depression and loneliness. Further, dancing requires memorizing steps and working with a partner, both of which provide mental challenges that are crucial for brain health."

Sounds like I definitely should crank up the tunes and start "moving & grooving" more often - for lots of reasons!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAYJAY23 9/25/2008 8:39AM

    Our whole Weight Watchers meeting last night was about the benefits of dancing.

Close the curtains people and crank up the tunes!

Have a great day!

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KIMUSH23 9/25/2008 12:26AM

    Well Val,

Out tripping the light fantastic and shaking your groove thing...that is really one of the best things for you...and if you sing while you dance it increases blood flow to your brain and vital organs and is supposed to make the dancing more effective...

Thanks for the nice blog...back at you! I think that you are just ... well what would tigger say "sparkeriffic"!

Have a SPARKERIFFIC day emoticon

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"Rest" Day

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm not an exercise fanatic by any means, but I find it difficult to take a break from it. It's not that I love to exercise, it's just that I feel so darn good about myself afterwards, that I've done something really good for "me" similar to eating a very nutritious meal. So for me today is a hard day to take - a "rest" day from exercise - no cardio, no strengthening exercises, nada, I didn't even do any "light" activities.

My body feels fine - yes, I have arthritic aches and pains, but nothing from doing too much or overtraining. Nevertheless, most exercise experts recommend taking an occasional day off from all activity - some suggest 1 - 2 days per week. They advise that exercise causes microtrauma to muscles and that it's during rest that they not only repair themselves, but they become stronger as well. Apparently, if proper rest & recovery time is not taken that they become weaker, more prone to injury and over time become less efficient in doing the work we want and need them to do.

Experts advise that we shouldn't wait until we feel sore from exercising and that skipping rest days is the most common cause of overtraining injuries. It is true that after I've taken a day or two off that I do feel refreshed and re-energized and my workouts do seem more effective. So I guess I just have to remember that "more isn't necessarily best" and that I'm being kind to myself by taking my "rest" day. Now I just wish SparkPeople would award SparkPoints for taking a day off LOL!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMUSH23 9/14/2008 11:56PM

    Hey There...

Congrats on your 1st blog...

And you are so correct...we have been socially indoctrinated so that when we (women) rest, relax, or take a break we feel guilty. You have earned and deserve a rest --- so kick up your feet and just "breathe"...

Have A Great Night emoticon Kim

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 9/14/2008 11:06PM

    I hope you enjoyed your rest day. Your blog is so true. I also find it very hard to take a day "off". Someone always finds something hard for me to do if they know I'm not doing anything as far as exercising goes. Today it was cleaning and moving refrigerators...very hard work!!!
I hope you used your day to relax.
God bless you.
Hugs,
Helen

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SKYFYRE 9/14/2008 10:59PM

    Heehee I love the last part! Good for you for taking a rest day it is very important! I hope you enjoyed it a little!

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