Ballroom Dancing is Great Exercise

I admit it. I’m totally hooked on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC Tuesdays 8/7C). I watch it every week with my wife (she’s thrilled), we vote on the Website, we provide armchair critiques of each dancer’s performance and each judge’s ratings. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is a reality show where talk show hosts, athletes, third-rate actors and singers are paired up with ballroom dancing champions to compete in front of professional judges. The judges conclusions are combined with audience reactions (via telephone and Web voting) and each week one competitor goes home.

My wife and I are very interested in ballroom dancing ourselves. We started lessons a few years ago, but time schedules for both of us get out-of-hand and we haven’t been back to it since.

But watching this great show has reignited our interest, and I think we’ll be making the time to take some more lessons. And, as it turns out, ballroom dancing is great exercise, according to a study done by the National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico, presented at the World Congress of Cardiology last month.
The researchers found that the study participants, all of whom had heart disease, increased their exercise capacity by 28% by taking ballroom dancing lessons, which was almost the same as the other participants who used a stationary bicycle.

But isn’t dancing a whole lot more fun than a stationary bike? For us, it is. One big consideration is having a place to practice. A wood floor is helpful, and you need a large unobstructed area to move around. In our split-level house, this is a big challenge.

Now, if I could only convince my wife of one critical rule in ballroom dancing — THE MAN LEADS!!

Wish me luck.

Author by Daryl Kulak