Healthy Living : Dance your way to good health

Generally I am a huge person and people get surprised at how active I am despite my body size.  Last weekend I was feeling very down and depressed, so I decided that once I put my baby to sleep, then I could go for a dance for at least two hours, just to shed off what I was feeling at the moment.

Generally I am a huge person and people get surprised at how active I am despite my body size.  Last weekend I was feeling very down and depressed, so I decided that once I put my baby to sleep, then I could go for a dance for at least two hours, just to shed off what I was feeling at the moment.

I went out by myself and immediately I entered the club I hit the floor and by the time I realized the time it was two and a half hours later. The music was becoming hot and I decided another hour could do for me, so after a bottle of water I hit the floor again for an hour before heading for the doors jumped into a taxi and headed home. The dance was very relieving for my head, but my body was singing another tune.

When I discussed this with my sister she reminded me that age was not on my side as I should have minimized the dancing, but later a bell rang in my head, and knew for the fact that I have to reawaken my love for dancing so that as much as I enjoy dancing, it should also help me keep fit.

Then I remembered many years while living in Mombassa there was an old friend of the family who was so overweight that he could not do any form of exercise, but he loved to dance. So his doctor prescribed dancing as a sport every day to keep his health in form. Truly this old man took to dancing religiously which in turn helped him a great deal in matters of his health.

The last time I was in Nairobi my old friend told me that she had subscribed to salsa dancing. This she told me was one way of doing a sport in a form she loves, which is dancing.

When I came to think of it, I realized people who enjoy going to dance rarely do they have health issues. Take for example the salsa dance; Salsa is the highly energetic dance sensation sweeping the globe. Dancers have to be extremely physically fit and need to display high levels of athletic agility. Due to its fun and rhythmic nature, salsa dancing has slowly started to become very popular all over the world. From America to India and now slowly spreading into Africa where young people are going crazy learning and practising this very interesting dance form.

Now we come to the question of whether dancing is a sport or not. Looking at the actual dance itself it is very energetic and fast paced depending on the type of music one is dancing to, but even so, anyone who likes dancing can tell you that it makes one physically fit in order to keep up with the pace of the music that one prefers.

Social dancing can have many health benefits from toning muscles, to reducing stress levels in a person to helping a person lose weight as well.

For people like me who do not like doing cross country, dance can do very well; the unique aspect of dancing is that it combines two activities into one. Dancing is a social activity and it mixes that with great aerobic exercise.

Most people find it a chore to get some exercise in their daily lives and this has led to poor lifestyles to so many people to an extent that obesity has become an epidemic. If more people took part in an athletic dance routine like salsa or even went to their local club and danced for a few hours they would feel a lot healthier.

Some people still think cross-country running every Saturday morning from Kimironko to Kayonza is all that is there in the name of doing sports; however, these runners exert forces in only one direction but, in dance, your hands, legs, and head are exerting forces in different directions all at the same time which involves less endurance than any other sport. Have you seen how physically fit professional dancers look?

Don’t think they spend hours in the gyms, most of them will tell you their perfectly toned bodies were achieved by rigorous training of the dancing moves.

If you see me in Cadillac or Planet club practicing my moves, then don’t think am all in for a dance competition, but it’s all for my health!

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