House Calls

WIN 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { winter 2019 } 19 Like all forms of exercise, dancing—rhythmically moving one's body, most often to music—spurs a release of endorphins, or neurochemicals that reduce pain and boost pleasure, creating an overall sense of well-being. Research shows that dancing can also curb anxiety and foster empathy, all while burning calories, strengthening bones, and toning muscles. If you save cutting a rug for special occasions—or refrain from the activity all together—read on. MAKE IT COUNT Get Your Groove On! Dozens of dance styles are practiced throughout the world, from breakdance to Flamenco to tap. And, of course, you can bust a freestyle move anywhere, anytime— like while you're cooking dinner or playing with the kiddos. But to make dance a regular part of your fitness routine, consider these popular classes (all of which are offered at various gyms and studios throughout the Lowcountry): Ballroom: These instructor-led classes teach you classic styles like the waltz, foxtrot, and tango. In addition to getting a stellar work out, you'll likely enjoy a confidence boost (we've all seen those folks at wedding receptions who own the room). CHOOSE A STYLE: THE PERKS OF DANCING: Performance dance: Hip-hop, ballet, modern: Choreographed group classes challenge— and work—your memory, heart, and muscles. They also provide opportunities aplenty to socialize. Zumba: Set to Latin American dance tunes, this instructor-led aerobic fitness class feels more like a dance party than a workout. You'll torch calories (between 350 and 650 per hour, depending on intensity) and work nearly every major muscle group in the body. Dancing can bolster brain health. A December 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that engaging in 60 to 120 minutes of dance or tai chi weekly may improve global cognition—a measure of cognitive function—as well as cognitive flexibility, or a person's ability to adapt to new situations. Dancing can boost your balance. It lights up the hippocampus region of the brain, which, in addition to playing an important role in memory recall, helps keep the body balanced. Dancing can ease anxiety. In one study, University of London researchers assigned patients with anxiety disorders to either a music class, a math class, an exercise class, or a modern-dance class. Only those enrolled in dance saw a marked reduction in anxiety levels.

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