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International Dance Day – Is moving to music an effective way to improve our health?

Published 30 April, 2024

We all know that exercise is good for us, but knowing that alone doesn’t always motivate us to create an activity routine and stick to it in the long term. Other priorities, such as work or family commitments, or simply not enjoying more conventional exercise options, such as going out on a run, might affect our ability to integrate physical activity into our weekly routine.

The good news is that there are so many different ways that we can get active throughout our days, and there’s bound to be some activities that are both fun to do and suit your lifestyle. Today, we will explore how simply putting on some music and moving along to the beat can be a fantastic option to add some extra movement to your day.

The effect of music

Listening to music is something that many of us do to help add enjoyment to a task that needs to be done that otherwise might be quite boring. For example, you might put on some of you favourite tracks while cleaning the house, working (if you’re allowed!), or while exercising. Music functions as a distraction from potential negative thoughts and feelings associated with a task that might otherwise be monotonous or unpleasurable, making the experience more enjoyable, or at the very least more bearable! Did you know that research has shown that listening to appropriate music (uplifting music with a clear beat and medium pacing) can actually reduce feelings of fatigue and negative association with exercise? If you don’t usually, consider putting on some of your favourite tunes next time you’re active!

Dance as exercise

One form of exercise that many of us enjoyed as children is dance. As adults, this is something that we do a lot less of, perhaps due to social pressures or not being overly skilled at it. But rest assured, you don’t have to be a formally trained dancer to reap the benefits of keeping active with music. Dancing is a fantastic form of activity, as it involves the whole body, benefitting our cardiovascular fitness (aerobic), as well as our flexibility and balance.

To mark International Dance Day, why not consider how you can fit a little extra exercise into your day by setting some time aside to get moving? All you need is some space, comfortable shoes and a device like your phone to play the tunes. Put on some familiar favourite tracks, with a strong beat running through them and move however you would like to, there’s no need to follow any strict routine, though some can be found online if that interests you! If you would like to create a playlist to move along to, start with a slower music tempo (beats per minute) and slowly increase this from one song to another until you reach the end of your playlist. If you want to cool down afterwards, you can start to bring down the tempo of the tracks again after reaching the high point.

For inspiration, we’ve created a short playlist of dance music that you can try moving along to. Afterwards, consider putting together your own playlist of favourite songs and enjoy the simplicity of moving along to good music!

Give these a listen

TrackArtistTempo (bpm)
SacrificeBebe Rexha120
HEATPaul Woolford, Amber Mark122
FridayRiton, Nightcrawlers, Mufasa & Hypeman, Dopamine123
BEDJoel Corry, RAYE, David Guetta124
GoodbyeImanbek, Goodboys125
Your LoveATB, Topic, A7S126
Get Out My HeadShane Codd128

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