As we approach the middle of winter, a lot of us find ourselves feeling down. It can be tough to shake these midwinter blues when the days are short and the air is frigid. But research shows that getting your groove on can be hugely beneficial; from improving social skills, to lifting your spirits and even reversing depression.
The Research: A German study of 22 dancers had lower levels of stress hormones. They felt sexier and more relaxed. A University of New England study in which participants spent six weeks learning tango showed significantly lower levels of depression than a control group who took no classes, and results similar to those of a third group who took meditation lessons. Credit can be given to the extreme focus or mindfulness of dance, which interrupts negative thoughts that contribute to anxiety and depression. Let's not forget the physically expressive nature of dance, which helps people release and recognize pent up feelings, in order to begin dealing with them. Dancing lifts the body to an open and optimistic nature.
Get Dancing: There are lots of ways to get moving, even if you have a severe lack of rhythm or haven;t stepped foot onto a dance floor since your senior prom. Dance with yourself when nobody is home. Dance with your kids and get crazy. Sign up for Zumba. Get your honey to take a ballroom dance class wit you. Just get moving! (And grab yourself this adorable "Life is Better When you Dance" tank to really get you feeling better!)
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What do extreme athletes, elite military forces, and football teams have in common?
They all do lots of burpees.
But burpees aren’t just beneficial for hardcore athletes or certified badasses, they're for EVERYONE. Including you!
Burpees will also help you scorch fat, rev up your metabolism and get you conditioned like no other exercise can.