Dancing Counts

From Time.com   |  By Markham Heid

Not only does dancing count as exercise, it could very well be one of the best things you can do for your body. According to a report from the University of Brighton in the UK, dancing can burn more than 300 calories every half hour, depending on the type of dance, of course. But even tamer forms of dance can burn roughly the same number of calories as riding a bike.

According to a great article on the subject by Markham Heid, ‘Dancing demands a lot of energy output because it involves “movement in all directions,” says Nick Smeeton, a principal lecturer at the University of Brighton and coauthor of that report. While running, swimming and other propulsive forms of physical activity use rhythm and momentum to keep you moving, “there is a lot of accelerating and decelerating in dancing, which the body is less able to do in an energy efficient way,” Smeeton says.

If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city, he says. All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.’

To read more about this, including the cognitive benefits of dancing, click here.