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We Love to Boogie

We love to boogie, and not just on a Saturday night

Can dancing make us feel better? According to Dr Peter Lovatt, psychologist and dance expert, the answer is a big YES ( what an amazing job that must be…)

Dancing, in different ways to other types of exercise, has the power to change the way we think, how we feel and boost our mood

Dance is unique in the way it combines signalling from out brain to our body making for a a full body and brain work out. This is turn can help improve our creativity and help our mood and feelings of anxiety or helplessness. Part of this is due to the release of dopamine- the feel good brain chemical ( neuro- transmitter ) – which increases our natural levels of this chemical to improve our mood. 

Dancing is a complicated work out for our brain as it takes into account so many different things- the beat of the music, our immediate surroundings, the rhythm or pattern for a routine , as well as possibly triggering memories or feelings around the type of music we are listening to. And that’s even before we get our toes tapping or start moving.

Dr Lovatt’s research also shows the benefit of having no routine, no set pattern to dancing- so called improvised dance ( the type that probably most of us do in the kitchen or when we think no one can see) 

By making it up as we go along when dancing, we move away from set ways of thinking and this can be helpful for us in day to day thought processes. 

Research from 2019 showed that regular dancing led to a 20-30% lower risk of depression and dementia, 30% lower risk of colon cancer, 20% reduction in breast cancer and 20% reduction in cardiovascular disease. 

Zumba is suggested as a good starting point if complete free wheeling isn’t your thing and if you are looking for an all-round work out

As dance classes are a thing of the past for now in the current climate we will all be looking for online options to get our heart rate going and our brain buzzing

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Dr Clara Russell