Country Dance for Fitness

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Ever notice how people who make movement an important part of their lives tend to be happier, or more content? First and foremost, movement of any kind, tennis, basketball, running, biking, yoga, badminton and bowling all produce “feel better” endorphins that course through our bloodstreams long after we’ve stopped moving.

Country Dancing is no different!

Moving (a.k.a. exercise, a.k.a POLKA) is the cheapest feel better drug there is and the only “fountain of youth” ever discovered to date. It improves heart health, circulation and resilience. Healthier people tend to be happier people because they experience fewer of the physical issues that cause stress and frustration. In addition, their bodies are better at fighting off potential health risks too.

Side effect: people who exercise tend to have a healthy glow which makes them more attractive in general.

Engaging in a physical activity like country dancing creates a greater sense of self-esteem. Remember when you were a kid and you yelled at your parents to watch you jump off the high dive. Even if they didn’t see it, you felt a strong sense of self-pride knowing you’d accomplished something big!

Accomplishment is a great self-esteem booster. Our bodies are geared to amp up when we ask them to, so even if you feel a bit behind in the beginning, you will soon be seeing noticeable gains in a short time which makes you feel good about you!

Doing - not watching!

Doing is more fulfilling than watching.

Because I am a dancer, people always assume I enjoy the reality show, “Dancing Like the Stars.” They are usually surprised when I confess I don’t even watch it. I don’t need to watch it. I live that reality every day, probably more so than most of the “celebrity dancers” standing in front of the cameras acting it out.

When people watch television shows depicting things they would like to do themselves, but never do, it creates a self-defeating feeling of “I can’t …” They’ve adopted an excuse rather than a lifestyle that could be fulfilling on many levels, if only they would try. An active body gets special care. Taking up a physical activity that you enjoy makes you want to take better care of yourself so you can keep doing it longer. I doubt if I would exercise near as much if I didn’t have to keep my body in tip top shape for dancing.

Living a healthy lifestyle

I choose supplemental exercises to support the other things I love to do. In addition, I eat healthy foods and try to avoid sugar because, I want to keep dancing as long as I possibly can and I need a healthy body to do it.  It gives you something to look forward to. remember when you were in high school and despite your disinterest in learning, you had a strong interest in going to school? There were people you wanted to see (your friends) and if you were like me, there were things you planned to do after school (sports, clubs, activities).

Dancing & Social life

Country dancing can be the basis of a social life outside of work and a special thing to look forward to when life seems tough. It can fill the role of playing lost as adult life takes over. I know a lot of people who can't wait to meet up with buddies for a racquetball game or three mile run in the morning. I see friends that cozy up their yoga mats five minutes before class to catch up on what's happening in their lives. Having something  like dancing to look forward to in your week can bring more meaning to your life and that's pretty cool too.

Other people do it too!

What all physical activities have in common is they attract other people who you can come to know if you choose to. When you are out taking a yoga class, riding your bike or walking on a community trail, you have a higher tendency to meet new people who strangely enough, like something you like as well. You have an instant common interest. Who knows where that can lead? Building friendships and spending time socializing has been known to make people happier in general.

About the Author:

Tracy Martin contributing writer to CountryDancePros. She is an Author, Life Coach, Soul Searcher and former successful competitive ballroom, swing & country dancer. She has spend countless hours on the floor as a student as a teacher and even more time contemplating and writing about her journey.

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