5 Major Prenatal Fitness Benefits That Come From Taking Ballroom Dance Lessons
You’re expecting a little one and it’s probably one of the most exciting times of your life. Maybe you just found out that you are expecting… maybe your prenatal visits are in their early stages… maybe you have only a few months left before the big day. Regardless of where you are at in your stage of pregnancy, chances are you have received a lot of advice already from your doctor, family and friends regarding exercise and activity level – caring advice offered only because everyone wants you to have the best possible chance for a healthy pregnancy and complication-free delivery.
Today we will be revealing 5 major prenatal fitness benefits that come from taking ballroom dance lessons.
Before we begin, a little disclaimer and probably our most important message to anyone pregnant that is dancing and/or exercising in any form, or plans to in the future, is to ALWAYS listen to your body and read the signs your body is sending. It is also a good idea to first consult with your health care provider before starting any exercise routine to make sure there is no conflict with the activity and fitness level you are aiming for.
- It’s great for cardio – Since ballroom dancing is a weight-resisting activity, it can be a fun and effective way to incorporate a great cardio workout in your prenatal and postnatal fitness routine. When ballroom dancing you are dancing with a partner most of the time. This requires fluidly counter-balancing their body movements. Therefore, it engages the entire body rather than only isolated muscle groups as when weight training. Additionally, because of the dance frame you must practice with your partner, your posture is being forced in the proper position and further reinforced and strengthened. Small modifications to the frame, however, may need to be made as your belly grows in size, especially in the last trimester.
- It’s low impact – Ballroom dance is one of the best low-impact forms of dance exercise available which is beneficial to the human body whether you’re pregnant or not. Ballroom dance studios are most often equipped with shock absorbent wood flooring which helps to minimize the impact on your joints, and helps you to move across the dance floor more smoothly. This is especially important to your body when carrying around extra weight due to pregnancy. Keep in mind, however, there are certain dance moves in any form of dance exercise that might want to refrain from while you’re carrying the baby especially as your belly expands. As mentioned by Mom Junction, it’s probably not a good idea to take up ANY “strenuous” form of dance, and it’s best to refrain from attempting any strenuous jumps or lifts while dancing and pregnant. Some precautions you can also consider while dancing can be reviewed in Mom Junction’s 7 Precautions To Be Taken While Dancing During Your Pregnancy. It is also best to have a clear understanding of what symptoms of “exercising too much” might look like ahead of time. Therefore, you might want to review the article, “Exercise Warning Signs” made available by the American Pregnancy Association.
- It reduces stress and boosts energy level – Not only do women enjoy the fun social aspects of being with others during her exciting time of soon-to-be motherhood, but dancing in itself can help reduce the normal stress and anxieties that can come along with pregnancy. Not only can one benefit from getting more restful sleep at night, the feel good hormones produced by exercise in general help increase overall energy level and mental moods which can sometimes fluctuate during and after your pregnancy. Plus, allowing yourself the personal time for self-expression and creativity of ballroom dance during and after pregnancy, serves as a refreshing mental escape for many mothers.
- It improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and much more – Ballroom dance is an excellent way to have fun and strengthen your overall physical condition. It’s full body movements and weight resistant nature builds, lengthens and conditions muscles. Most dance classes begin with some wonderful stretches as well which help tremendously in keeping you fit and flexible throughout and after your pregnancy. This is especially important building up to the big day when it’s time to deliver. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “a mom’s fitness level can affect the length of labor, the chances of medical interventions, and general exhaustion during labor. While it won’t lessen the pain of labor and delivery, staying in shape during your pregnancy will improve your stamina. The fitter you are, it seems, the better.”
- It can also help with weight and health management – Yes, Ballroom dance is proving itself to be one of the most beneficial aerobic exercises available for people of all ages and stages in life. When practiced consistently and safely, your body can reap some major health benefits as well that fall far beyond the improvements in physical endurance, weight management and agility alone.
Additional benefits which can be seen are –
- Decreased blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Improvement in cardiovascular health
- Increased lung capacity
- Decreased bone loss
- Improvement in bone health
- Improved balance / Reduced risk for falls
- Improvement in posture
- Reduced risk for anxiety and depression
- Reduced risk of developing Osteoporosis and Type 2 Diabetes
- Improved socialization
- Reduced risk for developing degenerative cognitive diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Now, with all that said… we encourage you, or someone you might know that’s expecting, to give ballroom dance a strong consideration if you’re interested in developing a healthy prenatal fitness plan. Be sure to talk with your doctor, and if you get the green light, find a quality ballroom dance studio that fits. We wish all mothers the sincerest congratulations and wish you the very best. Be sure to sign up for a complimentary class if our location fits. We’d love to have you join us.
Before you go, we also want to encourage you to watch a quick video explaining more in depth how ballroom dancing specifically paves the way to better posture below. We think you’ll learn something new. Take care and thanks for reading!