Love to Shake Your Groove Thing? Here’s How Dance Cardio Can Be an Effective Workout

People dancing
Most of the time, working out feels like exactly that: a workout. Whether you’re lifting weights, doing burpees, or running, there’s really no point in trying to fool your brain—it knows exactly what you’re doing. But when it comes to dance cardio, even though you’re moving non-stop (and becoming increasingly sweaty in the process!), you’re having so much fun that you forget you’re benefiting your health in the first place.

The Benefits of Dance Cardio

Think of dance cardio like this: You’re getting your groove on, just with a whole lot more energy. According to New York City-based personal trainer Lana Herzig, the workout incorporates “both high-impact and low-impact moves and routines that vary in speed and intensity,” giving you an impressive calorie burn while working you from head to toe. Not only does utilizing so many different muscle groups give you a full-body workout that aids in weight-loss and increased strength, but it also improves your body awareness, coordination, and self-confidence, Herzig says. On top of that, past research has found dance can help lower your risk of heart disease, keep your brain healthy over the years, and help reduce depression and anxiety.

The Pros and Cons of Dance Cardio

While dance is undeniably a fun way to exercise, your workouts might not be quite as effective as something like high-intensity interval training (HIIT). With HIIT, you can reap plenty of benefits in as little as 15 minutes a few times a week, but with dance cardio, you’ll have to work out a little longer and more often to see results. But with that being said, when you have a workout you enjoy, it’s easier to stick with it—and consistency is incredibly important when it comes to bettering your health.

How to Get a Solid Dance Cardio Workout

With dance cardio, the options are endless. Because it’s so open-ended, you can get in a solid workout doing everything from traditional dance and Zumba to Bollywood dancing and hip-hop. First, find what works for you. Then Herzig recommends scheduling in a 60-minute class 3 to 5 days a week to change your mind and body for the better.