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The benefits of dancing and why it would help us fight the coronavirus

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Psychologists and therapists assure that dance could be an ally to deal with the negative emotions produced by the confinement and the fear caused by the new COVID-19 outbreak

Dancing is one of the oldest activities in the history of mankind. Since the time of primitive man, cave paintings have symbolized people dancing in caves. 

Jorge Drexler says it well in a song: “We made music long before discovering agriculture”, and music and dance have always gone hand in hand.

But last year a pandemic fell, and an activity that has always been social became dangerous. Norms of social distancing among people were imposed and bars, discos, dance clubs and any other place where we used to meet to dance, to feel the closeness of our body with other people’s bodies, were closed.

After a brief moment of hope, where reopening found us, 2021 begins with the threat of regrowth, and worse, a new, more contagious strain of COVID-19. Strict quarantines, closure of entertainment venues and social distancing continue to be imposed as measures to combat it.

But in this scenario of confinement, dance has once again become a tool to combat the pandemic, at least the anxiety, depression and other mental health problems with which it has been accompanied.

That is why this new year the resolutions to exercise more, eat better, and in general be more active do not fall badly. In this scenario, why not turn to dance as a way to improve our mental and physical health, and even our state of mind to face confinement in a better way.

And it is that dancing brings happiness, as demonstrated by a recent study conducted by Dr Peter Lovatt from the University of Hertfordshire with 2,000 adults.

Lovatt found evidence that when dancing we release more endorphins than when doing any other type of exercise, and thanks to this, we connect better with the emotional centers of the brain.

“For many people, dancing causes emotional liberation; it’s often uncomplicated happiness, while for some it can make them cry. It’s cathartic, letting go of repressed emotions,” he said for an article published in The Telegraph.

Dancing also improves spatial awareness, helps increase heart rate, and triggers a release of feel-good endorphins in the bloodstream. In addition, it lowers the levels of cortisol in the body, a hormone that produces stress.

If we get technical, dancing stimulates the brain areas related to Proprioception, which are responsible for recognizing the notions of our own body; the cortical zones, related to the planning and execution of movements. The limbic system, which coordinates emotional responses, and the aforementioned endorphin production.

Other experts, not part of the study, says that “all this promotes body awareness, creativity, memory, and sensory senses are activated to receive all the information that comes from the environment and integrate them with our muscle responses to perform the movements.”

The expert also stressed that in this scenario, the benefits of dancing can also depend on the age of the person practicing it. In children, for example, dance not only improves physical condition but also coordination, elasticity, strength and musical sense. In adolescents and young adults, it allows to connect with oneself and improve emotional control, channeling emotions such as anger, rage or anguish, with a language other than verbal. And in older adults, dancing ends up being one of the most powerful remedies against physical and mental aging.

In another recent scientific study conducted at the University of Sydney in Australia have shown that just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity exercise a day can counteract up to 10 hours of sitting.

Other studies found that doing “bursts of intense exercise” for periods as short as 20 seconds or even 4 seconds at various times of the day can produce concrete benefits to people’s physical fitness.

Anyway, whether for physical or mental health, dancing and above all, moving, must be among the priority list of this 2021, perhaps to the sound of a good melody we will be able to get out faster from the nightmare of this pandemic.

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