19 November 2007

Health Watch: Swinging to the rhythm

As pieces of equipment for exercise are getting more technological savvy and fitness centres are mushrooming around the corner, dance instructor Tess Divina decided to teach her students the most convenient and effective way to lose weight and boost their self-esteem: dancing.

“I volunteered to teach a dance club here. I want to share with everyone what I have learned when I joined the Philippine Dance Club here in Al Ain and ballroom dance classes in Dubai. My target is also to lose weight and to share to everyone what I have learned,” said Divina, who is also working as a Secretary for Quality Management at Tawam Hospital-John Hopkins Medicine. She is currently teaching swing to some 17 ladies also working at the hospital.

“There are a lot of benefits: You will be moving a lot, you will be doing more than you would when exercising with a machine, and you will be meeting a lot of people. Some of the participants may not really know the steps. But when they hear the music and they see people dancing, they are encouraged to dance,” she added.

Researches prove that aside from the social benefits dancing offers, it also has health advantages. One half hour of continuous dancing can burn as many as 400 calories, and it could enhance blood flow to your limbs and organs, lower your heart rate and blood pressure, intensify stamina and flexibility, increase bone mass, maintain proper posture and body alignment, aid in waste removal in the brain, improves neuro-muscular coordination, and reduce the risk of dementia in the later years of life.

Dancing can also keep kids physically fit, develop their talent, enhance creativity and appreciation of the arts and build self-confidence. Since it requires a lot of movement, children can learn to be graceful and well coordinated with the music helping their minds relax. It can also assist children to understand different histories for every culture has its own dance.

Even cancer patients can gain from dancing. Through the Dance Movement Therapy, the anxiety and stress they feel will be lessened, their moods will be uplifted, and their sense of hope, ease, strength and social support will be strengthened.

No comments: