dancing can help you lose weight

Can Dancing Help You Lose Weight – The Ultimate Guide

can dancing help you lose weight

If you are wondering “can dancing help you lose weight and be strong”, carry on reading. I not only answer that question but I also provide a step by step guide to help you achieve that. Furthermore, I reveal the extra benefits of dancing, the types of dance you should practice to lose weight and video examples to illustrate the types of programs you could try. 
In a nutshell, to lose weight with dancing, you need to pick a style you like, take care of your body before and after each practice; and, for each session, go fully into it.

1. How can I lose weight fast?

That question seems to be a timeless one. The simplest of answer is “eat less”, especially, of what induce you to eat more, such as sugary products. However, since people don’t like to give-up their dietary habits, they turn to other venues. Some go straight to the hospitals while other try it a more traditional way. All in all, and unless you cheat (surgery), the way to lose weight fast is to exercise on endurance laden activities while looking out for your diet. Can dancing help you lose weight? Absolutely and faster than you think, because; and that’s another aspect of the word “fast”; as long as you don’t see the time fly everything will seem fast to you. 

2. How can I reduce weight at home?

If you ask yourself this question, you have come to the right post and platform. The recommendation I provide fit perfectly those who want to do their exercises in the comfort of their own home. To specifically answer to that question, we will work on your endurance and strength over an appropriate time frame. The only thing you will need is a sufficient amount of space (9m square should do) and some water. I guarantee you will need it.

3. Dancing is a sport

Not many people consider the physical activity involved when dancing, but in essence dance can be considered a sport of beautifully and correctly synchronised gestures. In Europe, men who dance are sometimes considered feminine. I heard that comment from a woman whom I told I was a dancer. Her reply was “but here we consider men dancing to be feminine”. Coming from Latin America, the guy with a problem is the one who can not dance. Whenever physical activities are mentioned for dance, people automatically think of Zumba. Although Zumba increases your heart rate, it is far from being the most demanding of dances. Other forms of dancing that are not classical or contemporary can be more demanding than Zumba. Afro-Cuban dances for example will test your strength and endurance very quick. Other dances include break-dancing or even salsa.

4. Losing weight is about practicing over and over

One of the key challenges with the practice of a sport, is to stay focus long enough in order to see result and therefore lose weight. But what better activity than dance can push you to practice multiple times per week? Dance is indeed the kind of activities you will come back to over and over without thinking about it as a strenuous endeavour. Moreover, with dance you will have tones of fun and will sweat profusely. The only shame is that men do not like to practice dancing. It’s a shame because if they knew the level of endurance; strength and mental memory needed to make 360 different moves in 5 minutes; they’d probably give-up gym instantly.

Therefore, to the question “can dancing help you lose weight” the answer is “more than that”. 

5. Types of dancing that can help you lose weight?

I mentioned that afro-Cuban dances, salsa, Zumba, break-dance are great dances to help you lose weight. They are extremely fun and get you into sweat very quick. 

5.1. Zumba

·      Zumba is one of the simplest forms of dancing and reallies exclusively on a limited range of motions that are done at a high pace. It therefore is great to help you lose weight.

5.2. Afro-Cuban

·      Afro-Cuban dances are in my opinion the best, because you engage your core, leg muscles, arms and many other parts of your body in sophisticated dances that have ancestral significance (CHECK OUT MY VIDEO – ABAKUA)

5.3. Salsa

Salsa is also good as it is more elaborated than Zumba. You will need to have great coordination between your ears, body, pace of the songs etc. The other extra benefit of salsa is that it generally ignites great moods with the practitioners. Salsa is therefore also a great dance to hep you with your waist lines. 

5.4. Classical

Classical and contemporary dances are also good to help you lose weight, but you might be put-off by the amount of flexibility they require. Since they are very demanding in terms of agility and flexibility, the number of interjections “ah” will quickly go-up and you might feel discouraged. Actually, break dance also requires flexibility but you can ease your way to moves that are not too demanding in that area.

6. How long do you have to dance to lose weight?

The amount of time you need to lose weight when you dance vary on the efforts you put into the practice. If you practice 3 times a week for one and a half hour each time, you should see positive results within 2 or 3 months. I am not so verse in the time needed as I personally never had weight issue, thanks to my daily practice of dance. But you will definitely see weight losses with few months. If you take a look at the following video try to imagine yourself in my shoes for 5 minutes straight, barefoot, doing a number of moves that must coordinate with the song.
Prior to doing this choreography I used to run 3 times a week followed by two to three hours of physical exercises. None of these 3 hours sessions hurt me more than these 5 minutes of dancing outside barefoot. So, dancing can absolutely help you lose weight. 

7. Can dancing help you lose belly fat?

If dancing can help you lose weight, it definitely will help you lose belly fat. That said, the types of food you eat need to be taken into consideration. If you eat a lot of fat food, you belly will shrink after you danced for a while but it won’t disappear completely. So good nutrition with dancing is the bingo recipe to lose weight fast, and with a smile on your face.

8. How do you lose weight by dancing?

Since regular practice is the key to lose weight when dancing; it is important if not vital that you take care of one of the most underestimated aspect of any physical activity, namely a proper warm-up. Even before you go for a run you should have a set of rituals that makes sure your knees, ankles and other part of your body do not suffer too much from the exercise.

Stage 1: 15 minutes

So, the stage 1 should be proper warm-up. I have created a 3 levels body movement program that help with that. You can check the first level here. We take care of every parts of your body in a way that increases blood circulation, soften the joints, increases flexibility and provide for a good amount of sweat to move to the next stage. You need this if you want to keep dancing over and over.

Stage 2: 5 minutes (can be neglected)

The second step is an escalation of the body movement. At that stage, you increase the speed of your movements along with the speed of the song. Unlike the level 1, you now try to engage more than one part of your body. This aspect can be neglected to go to level 3 directly, but I realised it was more effective for me to complete a two or three hours dance session, after I introduced an intermediary step between body warm-up and what I would term as “full escalation”.

Stage 3: 40 minutes

The third level will comprise of any kinds of dances that engage your endurance and strength. In that case, we can take a simple Zumba session where you will repeat simple moves at a high speed. You do that for about 45 minutes with rest intervals every 5 minutes. You need to practice for at least 45 minutes in order to see any tangible results fast. Of course, you can go at your own pace, but you need to raise your heart rate to a certain level in order to challenge yourself and see results.

Stage 4:10 minutes

The second most important stage of the whole session is the cool down. Ideally, you use a low energy song on which you can do some stretches. I have a video with simple yoga moves that will help you out with that. The reason why this part is the second most important aspect of your training; is that, after you finish a high pace dance class and then just go home; you will discover that some parts of your body hurt. I have taken part in many dance classes where the teachers just send their students off after they taught their classes. I never just leave a dance practice without an element of recovery included into it, just like I never start dancing if I have not properly broken down and warmed back-up my body. You should have this mindset so you can practice dancing long enough to help you lose weight.

9. Dancing can not only help you lose weight but also gain flexibility

One aspect that is often neglected by people who want to lose weight is the flexibility part. Suppleness is as important if not more than the mere loss of weight. It’s better to target flexibility than weight loss, since one carries a positive tone while the other always seems to be that far fetched goal we wish at the beginning of every calendar year. I mentioned that dancing will definitely help you lose weight, but to achieve that goal you must be as injury free as possible and that’s where flexibility comes into play.

9.1. Typical pro and cons of gym 

The gym has many advantages, with all the great features and machines they offer for running as well as strength. Generally speaking, you just head to the gym and follow along a parkour and you are all set. However, on the downside:
You have to get there, which could get you stuck into traffic. The other evil of gyms is that they tend to be great for new year resolution, hence the price offers that flood the market during that time. But when you get there in the middle of the year, a place that was full and even refused customers, becomes more dotted as time goes by. Motivation is another factor that will challenge you quickly. Moreover, it is easy to collect injuries in a gym if you did not prepare properly.

9.2. Typical pro and cons of Dance 

Dancing can be done alone or with a partner, at home or in a studio. It provides a lot of conveniences and mainly uses your own body weight. Dances challenges you both from a strength and endurance point of view, which are great to help you lose weight. Unlike gyms, there are many kinds of dances, which means you will eventually find something that fits your paces, taste and personality. However, you need to choose the right type of dance otherwise you might give-up quickly. Moreover, some styles are more fitted to help you lose weight than others.

So, as we just saw dancing is definitely great to help you condition your body the way you want it. It provides a venue that guarantees you will come back for more. I have created a number of programs that can help you with this weight challenge. I have a 100 days bootcamp challenge to help you become a great salsa dancer. Along the way, I guarantee you will see you belly shrinking.

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