The benefits of working out bright and early—and before you tuck into your breakfast—are almost too numerous to name. For starters, you could get a better workout overall, you’ll burn more fat, you’ll be more alert, you’ll set yourself on the path to better decision-making, and you’ll even improve your sleep.
And while we’d advise you to partake in any form of exercise that you feel comfortable doing in the morning—well, with the exception of super duper high-intensity exercises, for which you’d be wise to fuel up beforehand—some experts say that one particular form of exercise is extra special for starting your day off on the right foot. Read on to learn what it is, and for more great ways to start getting fit from the moment you wake up, see here for the Secret Side Effects of Walking Before Breakfast, Says Science.
That’s right: You should consider dancing as your morning workout. After all, according to the folks at Reader’s Digest, busting some moves for just 10 minutes in the morning can result in 60 calories burned—which amounts to an extra 420 calories you’ve burned every week.
What’s more, the leading health bodies will tell you that dancing not only works your heart and lungs and burns those calories, but it also increases strength, helps with weight control, improves coordination and stability, boosts your mood (obviously), and can even lead to “greater self-confidence and self-esteem.”
In fact, one study published in Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that dance training was just as effective at helping people control their weight as cycling and jogging. And for more amazing tricks that will improve your days, make sure you learn why It’s a Bad Idea to Listen to Taylor Swift Before Going to Bed, According to a New Study.
According to Jennifer Jacobs, CPT, founder of The J Method, busting some moves before you eat or start guzzling caffeine is a terrific way to start your day. “This is my go-to morning move that really wakes me up,” Jacobs explained to HuffPost. “Choose a song that’s roughly three to five minutes and spend the duration of the song bouncing through the balls of your feet. You’ll start to increase blood flow―not to mention sneak in a quick calf workout―and may find that after the song ends your mood has improved, too.”
Jacobs isn’t alone. “I start every day with dancing,” Kelly Morris, the meditation coach at The Infinity Call, once explained to Well+Good. “The feelings and thoughts right after waking tend to dictate how the rest of the day goes. Dancing first thing is a great way to make sure that, regardless of what anyone else is bringing to the world that day, you’re bringing your best—and Beyonce’s best.” And for more life-changing exercise advice, see here for the Secret Exercise Tricks for Keeping Your Weight Down for Good.
Dancing in the morning is also an effective way to bolster your memory, improve your balance, and stave of the grim effects of age-related decline. In the case of one study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, a group of older volunteers were divided into two groups: one that performed traditional exercises (such as cycling and Nordic walking), while others danced.
While both forms of exercise produced healthy results, the dancers showed greater gains in terms of balance. The study authors hypothesize that this is because the dancers were required to remember new moves and constantly change their body patterns, their rhythm, and do fresh routines. (And, as science has shown, when you lose your sense of balance, it’s a major sign of decline.)
“I believe that everybody would like to live an independent and healthy life for as long as possible,” one study author explained in the study’s official release. “Physical activity is one of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to this, counteracting several risk factors and slowing down age-related decline. I think dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind, especially in older age.”
One of the many perks of dance workouts is that you can literally do them anywhere. Just pop in your headphones and get moving. But if you’re looking for a great dancing workout to get you started, check out this amazing 14-minute dance-party workout right here! For more great fitness tips, don’t miss these Secret Tricks for Walking Better Starting Now, Say Experts.