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Dancing nearly halves the risk of cardiovascular death

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Posted March 5, 2016

If you had to recommend something to a person, who wants to avoid heart problems in the future, what would it be? Healthy diet? Stress-free balance of work and free time? Well, according to the new study conducted by the researchers from Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney, you should recommend dancing.

People having fun and doing healthy exercise – dancing nearly halves the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Image credit: Mario J. Lucero via Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0

People having fun and doing healthy exercise – dancing nearly halves the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Image credit: Mario J. Lucero via Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Scientists studied 48 thousand people without cardiovascular disease over a decade to see how their exercising habits affected their health. It turns out that dancing is a good exercising routine to choose for those who want to lower their chances of dying from the cardiovascular disease.

The research showed that those people who participated in dancing had 46% lower risk of cardiovascular death over a decade compared to those who rarely or never danced. It is the world’s first study of its kind to research the health effects of dancing on mortality from heart disease in people over the age of 40. And, having in mind the huge number of participants in the study, results are quite reliable.

Of course, as fun as dancing might be, to gain all positive effects of it, one has to be really exercising. It means that positive health outcomes were achieved by those, who were at least lightly out of breath or sweaty while dancing, and not by those who were barely moving. In other words, people who want to be healthy in the future should really show their best moves on the dance floor and not just move one leg and swing hands around.

Dafna Merom, lead author of the study, said: “The Bee Gees said it best- you should be dancing. Our study shows that dancing is one of the best ways to protect from cardiovascular disease death. For example, the study found that, compared to fast walking, dancing further reduced the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 21 per cent”.

Scientists also note that social impact of dancing is also important – dancing relieves stress and helps people to relax by interacting with each other. Furthermore, dancing is fun, which means that people are unlikely to drop it. Unlike regular exercise, which we do tend to forget from time to time. However, it is exercise in disguise, so next time someone invites you for a dance, you should go and get sweaty for your own heart.

Source: sydney.edu.au

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