Dancing Has Some Surprising Effects On Weight Loss

Dancing regularly has numerous health benefits, which is not a huge surprise since it's a cardio exercise. According to Healthline, dancing regularly can help you can burn a lot of calories, lose weight, build muscle strength, increase stamina, improve flexibility, get better mobility, improve balance, get better blood flow, reduce stress, get better sleep, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, improve your mood, and reduce your risk of depression.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults need at least 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly for health benefits. That means dancing 50 minutes a day for three days a week or 30 minutes a day for five days a week if it's moderate-intensity, or 25 minutes a day for three days a week or 15 minutes a day five times a week if it's high intensity.

Harvard Health Publishing defines moderate-intensity exercise as something that gets you burning three to six times as much energy as you would sitting, and high-intensity exercise as something that gets you burning more than that. How much you burn is measured in metabolic equivalents (or METS). Someone who weighs 160 pounds can burn about 70 calories an hour while sitting. That person would need to burn 210 to 420 calories for a moderate-intensity exercise and more than 420 calories for a high-intensity workout.

How to lose weight dancing

The best part of dancing is there are so many options. You can take a class to learn a new dance, jam out alone, dance with a partner, or sign up for a Zumba class. Plus, you can dance at home with an online class or join one at your gym. If you want to dance on your own, crank up your favorite dance music and dance however you want.

How many calories you burn depends on the type of dance you choose. If you're 150 pounds and dancing for 30 minutes, you can burn lots of calories — 179 with ballet, 118 with ballroom dancing, 207 with hip hop, 143 with salsa, 207 with swing, 164 with tap, and 172 with line dancing, according to Healthline. If you weigh more, you'll burn more, and if you weigh less, you'll burn less.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness studied 27 overweight women who completed a 12-week Zumba fitness program. Researchers measured their quality of life, pain levels, body composition, and cardiovascular effects. The results were significant improvements in weight, decreased blood pressure, and a decrease in pain severity.

Find a dance style you enjoy (or several) and sign up for online or in-person classes. Dancing can be a fun way to lose weight.