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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Dance to stay healthy

The benefits of boogieing on physical health are patent.
The Straits Times - August 23, 2012
By: Lee Hui Chieh
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Dance to stay healthy

The benefits of boogieing on physical health are patent.

An aerobic exercise, dancing makes one move muscles, breathe faster and inhale more oxygen, and causes the heart to pump faster.

This makes the heart, other muscles and bones stronger and work better, which help in weight loss and disease prevention.

For example, studies in the United States show that regular aerobic exercise - at moderate intensity for 150 minutes a week - can reduce one's risk of developing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes by between 20 and 50 per cent.

The effects of exercise, including jiving, on emotional health are also well-known.

Exercise prompts the body to produce chemicals called endorphins, which make people feel happy and relieve stress.

But dancing may be a leg up from other forms of exercise when it comes to maintaining mental health.

In a United States study on 469 people aged above 75, published in The New England Journal Of Medicine in 2003, dancing was the only one of 11 physical activities found to reduce the risk of dementia when done frequently. The other activities included swimming, cycling and walking.

The lead author of the study, Dr Joe Verghese, a professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, told AARP The Magazine that dancing could have this effect because it involves significant mental effort and social interaction, both of which reduce the risk of dementia.

Dancing keeps one physically, emotionally and mentally fit - and is fun to boot.

It's time to hit the dance floor.

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