Yes, Dancing Burns Calories, But More Importantly, It Boosts Your Mental Health

Yes, Dancing Burns Calories, But More Importantly, It Boosts Your Mental Health

Burning calories and keeping fit are just some of the many benefits of dancing.

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If you been to any type of party, social gathering, had some type of dance lesson, or have a background in dance, then you know the feeling that being on the dance floor, a stage, or in a class taking lessons, then you know great it feels to be in those places.

As it turns out, there is a scientific reason for this and there's a way we can use it to not only improve mental health but overall brain function. So, burning calories and keeping fit are just some of the many benefits of dancing. Dancing also helps improve the blood flow to the brain giving it the glucose and oxygen it needs to function.

So how does the ballet brain differ from the average brain? It's simple.

A recent study done by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and it shows that dance is the best exercise to improve a person's cognitive skills. The results of the study showed that 76% of the patients who danced had lesser signs of dementia.

Other benefits of dancing for the brain include a boost in mental capacity as well as the reduction in depression and stress levels.

Did you know? More than 2/3 of dancers in a dance company most likely have a highly-overactive brain. In a normal population, only about 4% of people show activity that high.

There is also another mechanism that further improves the mental acuity of a dancer or an individual who is learning how to dance. Psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Coyle of the Harvard Medical School, explains how the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex – both of which play a role in dancing – are rewired and improved when in use all the time. Both of these – which are used in decision making – give way for the neural paths to better transmit information.

And it's not just the elderly who can benefit from this research, young adults and children can too. Swedish researchers also conducted a study on 100 teenagers; where half of them danced and the other half didn't. The ones that did dance showed a boost in their overall mental health and mood even after they had ended the classes.

Besides developing coordination, dance is also another way to develop social skills and become more connected.

Dancing has both long-term and short-term benefits. For example, dancers can sometimes learn or discover things more easily because of how often they are learning new things and many have an excellent memory. In addition to this, they become good workers because of their discipline and self-motivation. They have grown accustomed to knowing that something won't just come overnight and that they have to work for it.

I started ballet at the young age of two to help with my coordination after undergoing heart surgery. Dance not only helped me gain strength but it helped me learn discipline, improved my cognitive process and helped me learn muscle memory. It helped shape the person I became today.

Cover Image Credit:

Lauren McCally

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7 Struggles Of A Girl Who Understands Sports

Other girls just don't get it.
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I love sports.

I live for the time of the year when football season and basketball season overlap so I can watch my two favorite sports at the same time. However, as any other girl that likes sports knows, there are a few different struggles that we experience on a day-to-day basis.

1. People won't believe you.

I've gotten very accustomed to the “look" people give you when you tell them you like to watch sports. It's a look that reeks of disbelief. I'm sorry I don't know the blood type of the former coach's oldest son. You'll just have to learn to let it go... but yes, I do watch sports.

2. People will try to explain the game to you.

Yes, I know that was a sack. Yes, I see that it's a fourth down. Yes, I know what foul that was. Yes, they are about to take a free throw. Please stop talking while I watch my team play. Thanks for trying to keep me updated, though.

SEE ALSO: 47 Things All Female Athletes Have Said

3. Guys will think you are trying to impress them.

Dude, stop flirting with me while the game is on. Don't block the TV. I need to see this. I could care less about you. My team is playing.


4. Your girlfriends will never care about sports as much as you do.

You will have to beg and grovel just to get them to watch the game with you. Even then, either they won't pay attention, or they will ask you what's going on every couple of minutes.


5. No one finds it acceptable when you yell at the TV.

My dad yelled at the TV during football games when I was growing up. My guy friends do it. But the minute I open my mouth when my team starts losing, people start staring at me and silently begging me to act more like a lady.


6. Women's' sports apparel is awful.

I get asked on a regular basis when shopping for team apparel, “Do you need me to show you where the women's stuff is?" No, no, nope, absolutely not. I would much prefer not to run around with rhinestones on my chest or in a pink football jersey. I'm cringing at the thought.

7. You turn into a child when your team loses.

No, it is not my time of the month. You know good and well my team just lost. Don't speak. I'm going to my room to lie down under my baby blanket and eat chocolate ice cream. It's just too much.

Cover Image Credit: Gator County Photos

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The New 'Special One' Returns (Again) To Real Madrid

Soccer fans across the globe question what Zidane will be able to accomplish this time with a Madrid side that has faced many issues this season.

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On March 11, Spanish club Real Madrid announced that they would be firing former manager Santiago Solari and replace him with Zinedine Zidane immediately. This marks a second reign of leadership the Frenchman will have with the club as coach (he managed Real Madrid from the 2016-2018 seasons which resulted in nine trophies). Zidane left in May of 2018 just days after he helped secure a third consecutive Champions League title. This was the last time football fans and supporters ever saw Real Madrid on top of Europe. Since then, things have gone South for the Spanish giants.

The defending champions have been knocked out of both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League competitions. The La Liga club is also 12 points behind league leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona (which only adds more pain). Saying things have fallen apart at Real Madrid is an understatement. I can't think of many moments in which the team was this low. Real Madrid is one of (if not) the biggest soccer club in the world. They are more than a club. It's an iconic, brand-name powerhouse which has always had a long history of success.

So, seeing them lose over and over again is a weird thing to witness as a football fan. In my opinion, I think Zidane will alleviate some of Madrid's issues to a certain degree. I am almost 100 percent sure he will be able to fix the chemistry issues in the locker room. Players on the team have mentioned how much they enjoy playing for Zidane. He brings out the best in the squad and every player is content with their involvement on the field. Now I'm not going to be unrealistic and say Zidane is going to win Champions League for Real Madrid next season, but you never know.

The key thing to watch in the off-season is how much money Real Madrid is willing to spend. They have historically always been big spenders in the transfer window periods. To me, that is the crucial component of whether or not things will turn around for the club. Money (and lots of it) most of the time equals success in sports. Team President Florentino Perez has to open up his checkbook and allow Zidane to go all-out to get whatever he needs to change things at Real Madrid. If this happens, I have no doubts in my mind that Los Blancos will eventually return to being on top of the world.

All I know is that if Zidane restores the glory days at Real Madrid, people should start calling him "the special one" and not Jose Mourinho anymore.

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