If you’re in the majority (85%) of people without a gym membership and a regular exercise regimen, you probably are used to feeling a little guilty when eating a whole tub of ice cream, or after spending the entire week sitting at the desk at work. And just like me, a few weeks ago when you were almost late to work and was breathing heavily after running up the stairs, you thought to yourself ‘gotta finally do something about my stamina’.

Why do we not do anything about our stamina, then?

The popular forms of exercise all suffer from similar problems: they’re boring, require a lot of financial and time commitment, and you do not see results as quickly as you should. At least those are the reasons I always cancel my membership a moth or two after New Year New Me’s decision.

Gym is boring.

One session and I’m out

That is, until last year. I realised that I was exercising for the wrong reason. I would exercise to be fit, but other things (that are more fun) would always get in the way. So I decided to make exercise fun. And that’s how I started my fitness journey with dance. Now I go there to have fun and get fit in the process (not the other way around)

Here are a couple reasons why dancing is the ultimate form of workout:

Dance gives you energy

1. It gives you energy

  • Two forms of exercise in one – dance provides both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. You work on your cardio during the fast-paced moves, but you also strengthen your muscles when you’re holding a difficult position, creatively use your body weight in movement or even lift a partner.
  • Always new and fresh – you can never get bored of exercising through dance. You learn and come up with new moves and combinations. It is ever challenging both physically and mentally. Even the same steps danced to unique styles of music and to a different rhythm make you work out various muscle groups.
  • You can get creative – that is an aspect often forgotten about in the work out world. With dance, you can let the creative juices flow and, more importantly, you expand your creative horizons. As much as it is a physical activity, it is strongly connected to your emotions. You live out your fantasies in dance and that is something not many people can confidently say they have an opportunity to do.
  • Get more flexible and elegant – Dancing improves your flexibility, which in turn strengthens your joints and muscle stability. Added bonus: unlike running, dance with a good instructor doesn’t have a negative impact on your knees! Instead, with the newfound flexibility, you’ll learn to hold a beautiful posture and will move with improved elegance and grace. (I’m trying to say you’ll feel more sexy and be more sexy).
  • Finally, dance makes you move in all directions as opposed to other forms of conventional exercise. Yes, it might tire you out faster than running, which will make you think it’s not as effective. But think about it:

If Running is like finding your way down into an underground station late in the evening, Dancing is like finding your way down into the underground station at 6pm with £0 left on your Oyster Card and 3 rounds of drinks already in your system. It makes you burn more fuel, concentrate on the task at hand more and be deservedly proud of yourself when you manage everything flawlessly. Not to mention you’re giggling to yourself throughout the whole thing.

Difference: dance doesn’t give you anxiety like the Central line does

So, when you’re thinking of burning calories after this coming Christmas – choose something New and Different. Don’t get stuck with a gym membership you never use again: try something else! Maybe that will work better.