Karen’s idea of exercise [please don’t watch me]

Don’t get me wrong. I have a terrific marriage. But there is one thing that Karen does that I have a hard time “getting down” with…

And no, it’s not water aerobics.

The thing is, Karen is always trying to get me to dance with her.

Fellas, maybe you have the same prob—er, situation.

Or ladies, maybe you’re up against it like Karen is… ready to foxtrot and no fox in sight.

Sometimes I think Karen might be ready to give up, but then she approaches me from another angle.

“Jeff, there’s a West Coast Swing class happening down at the local studio this month…”

I’m not alone among “terrible husbands” when I don’t jump on these opportunities. Like many men, I tend to put dancing in the same category as visits to the dentist. A bi-yearly requirement. You do your worst, boogying at so-and-so’s wedding.

And yes, I’m about as graceful on my feet as I am in the dentist’s chair. Can’t you just see me? All white knuckles and a grimace I’m trying to manufacture into a smile.

But then I read this article about dancing and how good it is for you. Not good for you like going to the dentist (although that’s important too, of course). But good for you like good for your whole you.

And I started to wonder if maybe Karen wasn’t on to something.

Dancing is big mood booster, if you let yourself enjoy it. Research shows that dancing regularly supports your happiness in a measurable way.

It’s also one of the best total body workouts you can do. Now, we’re talking about the kind of dancing that gets your heart rate up here. A slow shuffle around the floor with your sweetheart may be good for the brain chemistry, but it won’t do much for your waistline.

Turns out if you shake your “money maker” to a catchy beat you’re targeting cardiovascular endurance, body composition, muscular endurance, flexibility, balance, agility, coordination, power, and speed.

I’m out of breath just imagining all those physical benefits.

But as they say on late night TV… wait, there’s more. Dancing truly does benefit the brain… especially as we age. In fact, regular dancing is linked with a whopping 76% reduction in the risk for dementia.

Okay, I’ll admit it—Karen is gaining ground here.

And get this: Dancing can also combat anxiety. It gets us out there in front of others, and can make us more confident in social situations. In fact, it’s the social aspect of dance that helps make it so powerful.

The general rule of thumb seems to be to pick a dance you like and go for it.

The faster dances like salsa, the Charleston, jive, and quickstep burn more calories, but all dance styles offer benefits.

Karen may still have to drag me out there. But at least I know it’s good for me, right?

God Bless,

Jeff Reagan

Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

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