Waltzing for Exercise and Heart Health
Waltzing, or any kind of dancing for that matter, takes some skill. So people with two left feet, like me, usually stay off the floor. But a recent study shows that actually stepping out there can lead to a healthier heart.
In an Italian study, several dozen men and women who had a history of heart failure took part in an exercise program, did it for three times a week consisting of cycling and walking on a treadmill and continued it for two months.
Another group danced, alternating between slow five-minute waltzes and fast three-minute waltzes for the same two month period.
There was an improvement in the oxygen use, a measure of cardiac fitness, in the exercise group. What's surprising is not only was there improvement in the oxygen use among the dancers, the level in the improvement was equal to or better than that of the exercisers.
The researchers say that any type of dancing will do, not just waltzing. But whether it's dancing or an exercise program, the key is sticking with it.
So if you hate treadmills and dread the gym, change your sneakers for dancing shoes and give it a spin.
This entry last modified on: January 24, 2013 5:48 PM
About the Video
Can a waltz around the dance floor help keep your heart in rhythm? Dr. Bruce Dan shows you how even people with two left feet can make dance part of a heart-healthy fitness program.