Beneath the fluffy tutu’s and the stretchy pink tights, ballet dancers are some of the world’s fittest people. They obviously workout and work hard to achieve those Lycra encased abs and thighs of steel, and have probably been working on getting that type of body ever since they were kids, but that does not mean that as an adult you can not shape up using the same principals that ballet dancers do.
Ballet, apart from being an art in itself, is a great way to workout both your body and mind at the same time. Starting with the physical benefits, ballet can help increase your cardio level, tone up, and build muscle at the same time. Your cardio level improves due to to the ongoing movement and change of pace of the movement that is being conducted. You will tone up simultaneously because while you are moving your muscles have to be neatly placed in order for the movement to be done correctly. This way, you do not need to have separate time slots for cardio based training and muscle tone training, because ballet achieves both in one practice. With some additional dietary changes, you would also be liable to lose weight with frequent practice. Simultaneously, you get to learn an art form and listen to beautiful music whilst you move!
The mental benefits that come with the practice of ballet are several. Dancing requires a fair share of co-regulation between your body and mind, and practicing ballet has proven to improve coordination. It helps you in structuring your thoughts efficiently in the shortest time possible because you typically are not given much time in between being given instructions, and transferring those instructions into movement. Another major benefit is that of improving your visual and kinesthetic memory. Several steps and exercises have to be remembered, and because dance is a visual art, you primary have to remember what it looked like or how the move felt like. It also helps you to escape from your daily work, primarily because you’re too busy focusing on what your body is doing to think of anything else in between!
You do not have to have prior experience or be a long-term practitioner to practice and enjoy ballet as a meaningful workout. I will not promise that all of the above benefits will become visible quickly; your body requires time to digest what it is being given, particularly so if you have not previously done much physical work. What I can promise though, is that through the long-term practice of ballet, (whether recreational or not), your body will keep those benefits for long after they have been realized, helping you in other areas of your life in the process.
Starting classes as an adult may be off-putting to some. Perhaps you do not have enough time in your schedule for extra ballet classes, or perhaps you might be intimidated to join a class as a total beginner. Lucky for you, we’re in the 21st century where you can start learning and practicing ballet in the comfort of your own home by means of DVDs or other technological software. There are so many guides and videos to help you get started, whether you want to learn some things before you join a class, or whether you just want to practice at home, you will definitely find resources online that can help you workout through ballet. It does sound better than going to the gym right?
Featured Image: Glamour