New year, new you – dance to get fit and lose weight

Hundreds of people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their health and fitness. Whether it’s giving up smoking, doing more exercise or simply cutting down their portion sizes, this popular annual pledge is always made with good intentions. As such, gyms and diet clubs see their membership numbers swell exponentially in January.

Woman dancing into 2015

Come February, however, it’s a different matter entirely. The novelty has worn off; the new trainers lay untouched in the box and that smoothie maker has been stuffed to the back of the cupboard. There are lots of reasons why people fail to stick to their fitness resolutions, but one of the most common is choosing the wrong activity.

If you want 2015 to be the year that you reach your weight and fitness goals, and maybe improve your social life into the bargain, then look no further – dancing is the activity you’ve been searching for.

Why dancing, you ask? Just read on…

It works!

Karen-dance-to-fitnessYou’ve seen the proof. Any Strictly Come Dancing fans will know that most of the contestants drop a few pounds, tone up and increase their fitness levels while taking part on the show. Mark Benton told the media he had lost around three stone when he took part in 2013, while fellow celeb, Susannah Reid claimed to have lost half a stone. Lisa Riley noticed her legs becoming shapelier and dropped several dress sizes owing due to all that shimmying and jiving in 2012. It also helped other celebrities to maintain previous weight loss and achieve muscle definition that they hadn’t achieved before.

It’s little wonder, if you consider that a fast Latin number can burn off 300-400 calories per hour and even a slower ballroom dance can use up some 200 calories. That’s in addition to working all those muscles.

To find out more, Karen has shared her top tips for dancing yourself to fitness on our Fitness and Weight Loss page.

It’s fun

Any number of fitness experts will tell you that the key for sticking with a goal is to find something that you enjoy. Swimming is great when it takes place in a warm, crystal sea; the gym is okay for a while but dancing is fun, full stop. Think about it: we spend hours twirling and shaking on the dancefloor in clubs or at parties without once even thinking about it – certainly we never consider it ‘exercise’.

Again, ask the Strictly contestants. Felicity Kendall was cited by The Express as saying that dancing has made exercise ‘become extremely fun’ and Fern Britton said that her time on the show really changed her whole approach to fitness, prompting her to take up exercise on a more regular basis.

According to a survey from OVO Energy of ‘Britain’s top 50 modern resolutions’, a great many of us want to take up a new hobby and try going to new places rather than the same old bars. Signing up for dance membership satisfies both of those desires as quite simply, it’s not just about diet and exercise. Dancing is social, whether you join with a partner / friend or go alone, you’ll make new friends, have a laugh and, of course, have fun!

It’ll boost your confidence

Dancing is sexy. People who can dance, have rhythm and know how to expertly move their body to the beat, look sexy. Fact. Who would have considered Jake Wood, Dave Myers or Judi Murray sex symbols before they took to the dance floor? And what’s that other fact about sexy people? That’s right, they’re confident. Couple dancing

If you are a bit shy or looking for a way to come out of your shell a little, then dancing is a fabulous option. Not only will you be guided our qualified dance teachers who will develop a programme that suits your existing (or not) abilities, it all takes place in a safe and nurturing environment. It’s an activity that can really increase self-esteem, especially when the pounds start falling off.

Whether you choose a style that requires a partner or works solo, once you get those steps right, you will start to feel really good about yourself and ultimately, feel more confident.

You’ve more chance of succeeding

To reach a goal, you typically need sustained motivation – something that makes you really want to do your activity and reach that target but that won’t fade away after a few weeks. Enjoyment is a great motivator, as is celebrating small goals – both of which abound when you start dancing. We’ve already said how dancing is fun and social, but it also enables you to make smaller achievements (such as perfecting that heel turn or gancho!).

Being able to tick off a few small achievements can keep you on track for that overall goal. Plus you can show all your friends and family what you’ve learned, for that extra push. As such, you have more chance of succeeding with your resolution through dancing than you might if you were embarking on something your heart isn’t really set on.

Dancing is one of the best ways to lose weight and get fit. It’s more than just an exercise regime; it can be wholly life-changing, impacting both your physical and mental well-being. Why not make 2015 the year of the ‘new you’ and sign up for a complimentary 25 minute taster lesson?

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