Have patients who want to lose weight? Tell them to put on their dancing shoes.
Dancing can be an effective fat-loss tool for people who are overweight or have obesity, according to a recent meta-analysis in PLOS One. People who danced regularly lost about four more pounds — including three and a half pounds of fat — than those who didn’t dance. They also shaved an extra inch off their waists.
Participants who danced three times a week for at least 3 months reaped maximum benefits. And the more they let loose, the better — more creative dance forms led to more pronounced improvements in body composition.
The study builds on previous research that suggests dance can be beneficial for weight loss and overall health. A 2017 meta-analysis found that dance significantly improved body composition, blood biomarkers, and musculoskeletal function. Other research has linked dance with improvements in cognitive function, mental health, and quality of life.
What makes dance special? It’s a full-body workout that might be easier to stick with than other exercises. “Enjoyment” is key for sustainability, the researchers wrote: “As a form of physical activity that integrates exercise, entertainment, and sociality, dance possesses innate advantages in fostering motivation for exercise.”
“The best exercise is the one you’ll do every day, and something that you like to do,” said Nicholas Pennings, DO, chair and associate professor of family medicine at Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC. (Pennings was not involved in the study.) For patients who enjoy dancing, dance could be that thing — or at least one workout to add to the mix.
Help your patients get started with these tips.
- Frame it as a hobby, not exercise. Ask what hobbies they used to enjoy in high school, suggests Deirdre Mattina, MD, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and a former professional dancer. ” This can sometimes evoke happy memories of younger years and perhaps hobbies that they’d given up because they thought they were too old,” she said. If they used to play sports or dance, that’s your in. “I usually talk about hot yoga as a transition to get back their flexibility and then something like a dance aerobics or Zumba class to start.”
- Recommend a group class. ” Any intervention promoting social relationships is expected to increase adherence,” said Giulio Marchesini Reggiani, MD, a recently retired professor of internal medicine and dietetics at the University of Bologna in Italy. “You are motivated by the group, and you create a relationship among participants, and this means that you are no longer alone.” Try local gyms, health clubs, or even dance studios (yes, where kids go — they offer adult classes, too).
- Help patients find their unique groove. Mattina has some patients who take cardio dance classes, some who line dance, and others who pole dance or heels dance. “Those are the things that keep it fun,” she said. “It doesn’t seem like exercise. It seems more like going out and hanging out.”
- Encourage those who “don’t know how to dance.” You don’t need fancy choreography or the grace of a prima ballerina.”Simply move aided by the music,” said Marchesini. “As long as you start engaging in physical activity, you improve your health, and you improve your movement.” Suggest patients start with beginner Zumba or a step class to get the hang of moving to a beat. Or try a home dance video, like Barre Blend by BODi (which offers a 14-day free trial). “You can try taking a couple classes in the privacy of your own home first, so you feel comfortable getting out there and doing it with a group,” said Mattina.
- Modify as needed. If a patient has mobility limitations or lower-body pain, they can still dance — just do the upper-body portion of the moves. “Dance involves both upper and lower body movement, and so many dance activities could easily be performed in a chair,” said Pennings. A good joint-friendly option: Some health clubs offer dance classes that take place in a swimming pool.
- Involve the whole family. Support from a partner can help patients stick with exercise, said Marchesini, and dance can also help a couple strengthen their bond. Invite kids and grandparents to join, too. “Dancing is something that can be done at any age,” said Marchesini. “For kids, it is important to make it fun,” said Pennings. “Start when they are young with music they are familiar with and enjoy.” For skeptical partners? “Keep it simple and nonjudgmental,” he said.
- Remind patients to warm up. We lose flexibility with age, so ease into it, said Mattina. Many classes include warmups, but if you’re at home, do a few minutes of light, low-impact cardio — jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jogging, or brisk walking — before stretching. Or just put on a slow song and start lightly bouncing to the beat or stepping your feet to one side, together, then to the other side and together.
- Tell them to take dance breaks. No time to join a class? Break up the workday with a few 10-minute dance parties. (That’s about three songs.) “Short bursts of exercise throughout the day, like if you do 10 minutes of exercise six times a day, actually has a greater health benefit than doing 60 minutes of continuous exercise,” said Pennings. It helps counter the negative effects of prolonged sitting “by increasing blood flow and increasing utilization of your muscles.”
- Manage expectations about weight loss. Patients often have outsized expectations about how much weight they’ll lose when starting a new exercise regimen, Pennings said. Dancing burns about 300 calories per hour, so it takes roughly 12 hours to lose one pound. Consistency over time is the key. ” My goal is to both emphasize the health benefits of exercise while maintaining realistic expectations about weight loss,” said Pennings. Focus less on the weight part and highlight other benefits: Dancing builds strength, balance, and coordination, said Pennings. It can help improve blood pressure and other heart health markers and boost cognition in older adults. And it’s fun.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/do-your-patients-hate-exercise-suggest-they-do-this-instead-2024a100022t?src=rss
Publish date : 2024-01-30 14:02:01
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