“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” Vicki Baum
I just returned home from a week long vacation with my family (parents, little brother and his adorable Brittish girlfriend Amber) at ClubMed Turks and Caicos. We had the BEST time together bonding on the white sand beach and enjoying the many activities offered at the resort. ClubMed is an all inclusive resort concept with locations in many exotic places throughout the world. The slogan for Club Med is “Where Happiness means the world”. It is a French corporation by the name of Club Méditerranée or Club Med for short. The atmosphere at ClubMed is laid back and relaxed you can choose to take part in numerous club activities or just do absolutely nothing but recharge your batteries. The unique and fun thing about ClubMed is that the guests and the staff vacation together by both partaking in all the activities ClubMed has to offer from playing sports during the day to dancing and dining together at night. It makes for a very festive and totally fun atmosphere for both the guests and staff.
One of the reasons many people stay at Club Med is that it takes you out of your comfort zone. You get to do things that you normally would never do anywhere else. My family and I flew trapeze, played in the ocean on stand up paddle boards, and shared dinner with people from all over the world. Oh and we danced. Every night and all night.
ClubMed is a resort known to bust out in impromptu dance parties with their communal dance or crazy signs led by the GOs (staff title for gracious and nice organizers) at varying intervals during the day and evening. The dance steps for each song are standard across the organization with some new ones introduced each year.
The ClubMed’s culture of dancing 24-7 must be because they know how healing it is. Truth is, shaking your booty is remarkably healthy, and not just in a fitness-and-weight-loss kind of way. Dancing can preserve your brainpower, improve your outlook, grow your social circle, and protect your most important organs . . . even if you have no rhythm.
You don’t have to have moves like Jagger to reap any of dancing’s health-enhancing benefits. The simple act of dancing benefits your health, happiness, and has the power to transform you and the world around you. Current research (and common sense) shows us that dancing lifts our mood, can lengthen our lives, and can provide instant energy. Here are some of the health benefits of dancing:
Creativity. Like painting, writing and playing music, dancing is an art — a performing art. It connects us to our capacity to think creatively and our ability to explore self-expression. Moving in time to rhythm and music triggers all kind of inspiration that can apply to other areas of life.
Heart Health. A study in Circulation: Heart Failure found that people with cardiac conditions who danced for just 20 minutes three times a week saw their heart health improve significantly more than those who stuck to traditional cardio workouts. Dancing can also help make your skeleton strong, per the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and it does wonders for your overall makeup: When researchers compared dancers with non-dancers, they found evidence that dancing may preserve both motor skills and perceptual abilities.
Self-Esteem. Dancing helps you feel more self-assured. When you dance, you start to lose all inhibitions and gain self-confidence in your body and its movements. It effectively frees yourself of thinking too much about yourself, you become so involved in the rhythms and the music that you become impervious to self-criticism.
Endorphins. When you start moving your body, your brain starts to release endorphins — pleasure chemicals — in response to your body’s heightened motor activity. Ever noticed how sitting still at your desk keeps you feeling restless and bored? Your body craves physical activity and the pleasure associated with it. Dancing is a great way to keep your body and your brain on its toes as you move in time to the music to get these endorphins flowing.
Sensitivity. Dancing can be a gateway into understanding more about how you feel and about who you are. Moving your body around and engaging your mind to steps and music strengthens all your senses — you naturally feel more grounded and acquire a higher sense of both physical and emotional sensitivity which stays with you off of the dance floor.
Dancing combats depression. It has been proven that many forms of aerobic exercise fight off depression. This applies to dancing too; as your dancing develops over a longer period of time, your body adapts and changes a depressive mentality into a more relaxed and positive one. The ample flow of mood-improving chemicals that dancing releases means, of course, that raising the roof can elevate your mental state. Just one lively dance session can slay depression more than vigorous exercise or listening to upbeat music, according to a study in The Arts in Psychotherapy. Getting jiggy with others also leads to less stress and stronger social bonds, key factors in both mental and physical health, says Verghese. You know that feel-good feeling after dancing for so long? That feeling is fortified the more you dance.
Brain Power. Dancing gives your brain’s memory, coordination, and focus areas an intense workout, leading to stronger synapses and beefed-up gray matter. The result: Dancers can be sharper in the short term and less likely to succumb to brain diseases in the long run. A New England Journal of Medicine study of 11 physical activities found that dancing was the only one that lowered dementia risk by a whopping 76 percent.
The more time you spend on the dance floor, the more you train your brain to open those feel-good floodgates—and the more you’ll start to amp up your overall well-being. Don’t believe me? Try the exercise in this video and tell me if it makes you smile:
It’s never too late to augment your health by getting down, whether you start small by rocking out while cleaning your house or go big and sign up to take a class. However you choose to move, you can glean the biggest rewards by doing it for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week. What are you waiting for? Have your own dance party at home and get down in the Club Med Resort Style!
One of the favorite dances that I experienced at ClubMed Turks and Caicos is called “The Wobble”. This is a dance choreographed to a song by the rapper, V.I.C. , and has been called the new “Electric Slide”. In the spirit of ClubMed, I wanted to teach you how to do “the Wobble”. Get up out of your chair, shake your butt, and give the dance moves your own flair. Your health, happiness, and dance partner will thank you 😉
Leave a comment below when you have tried the WOBBLE and let me know if it raises your happiness levels! Does dancing make YOU happier?
Thank you ClubMed for providing a one of a kind vacation and memories to last a lifetime
Other Things To Check Out This Week:
- A secret to success: Embrace New Things and Take Risks! (a video of my trapeze act at ClubMed Turks and Caicos)
- Jane Fonda Inspired Hip Strength Exercise video
- Do you TWEET?? Follow me here.