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4 Extraordinary Benefits Only People that Grew Up Dancing Know

4 Extraordinary Benefits Only People that Grew Up Dancing Know

Were your memories from growing up filled with long rehearsals, dance recitals and contentment you felt when the music was turned on? Of course, there was the stress of getting a routine down perfectly, the heartbreak when you did not make it to the dance finals and moments when you did not get alone with your dance partners, but the good memories outweigh the bad. Dancing when you were younger was not only an extracurricular activity, but a way of life. Here are some benefits of growing up as a dancer:

1. They know it helped boost self-confidence and self-esteem

It has been proven that dancing helps raise your self-confidence by allowing you to overcome any internal obstacles you have about being able to perform. Dancing improves your levels of self-confidence because you had to perform in front of a crowd. Your levels of self-confidence in accomplishing this task by not how well you do in comparison to others, but solely being able to do a few moves from memory.

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Self-esteem is closely related to self-confidence, but differs in that it is the regard that you view yourself with instead of being measured about how well you perform a task. Being able to successfully do a dance number boost helped both your self-confidence and your self-esteem, something that is highly valuable growing up.

2. They know it takes a unique combination of athletic ability and artistic talent

Professional dancer Shanna LaFleur said “it takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.” This statement rings true with you, because you always thought it was hard to define what a dancer was. In some ways were not just an athlete, but also a person with an artistic disposition. Dancing required physical stamina, but also creative interpretation. You experienced your fair share of physical injuries, but you also remember the times when you felt mentally stimulated due to the strong artistic requirement it takes to be a dancer. You know dance is not just a sport, but an art form because it helps convey emotions and tell stories in a creative medium.

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3. They know it helped alleviate stress

Dancing allowed you to tap into your own creativity. Through this expression, you became more at ease with yourself and relieved any stress you might be holding onto. It was a great form of therapy, because you got to dig deep into your own personal experiences and express them creatively through movement. George Balanchine, one of the 20th century’s most famous choreographers, is known best for his wide range of emotions that he wove into his pieces.

In a study done by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Swedish researchers observed 112 teenage girls who were dealing with issues including back and neck pain, stress, anxiety and depression. Half of the subjects went to dance classes and the other half did not. The results showed a clear correlation with the girls who danced, stating that their mental health improved and that there was a boost in their mood, which lasted up to eight months after the classes ended. After an especially hard day at school, you remember how dancing helped you forget all your troubles the moment the music turned on and you started to move.

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4. They know it aided in sharpening cognitive skills

Dancing was great for your brain because it engages different areas, including emotional, rational, kinesthetic and musical regions. The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study that measured various recreational activities on mental acuity as you age. Dancing was the only physical activity that helped prevent dementia by a whopping 76 percent. It turns out that dancing not only allowed you to be in better shape, but also made you a better student.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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