Ok, so I was really curious about the benefits of running. Why is it good for you? What are the injury rates etc. . . It ended up up with loads of information but I found myself disagreeing that running was the best option when it comes to improving all aspects of fitness. After all I HATE to run. I do want to get healthy and I actually love to dance, especially Hip Hop. I wondered what the health benefits would be when comparing the two for my personal needs.
Let’s begin with the benefits of running. “They” say running can improve stamina and endurance because it is a solid cardiovascular workout. I can agree with this, however I also read it “relieves” stress, because you get some of the me time. Really though? When I’m stressed I like to do something, build something, or hangout with a group of friends to help cheer me up. If they’re not around, I tend to eat ice cream and be grumpy on my own, bring on the feel good carbs. I definitely disagree that the alone time running offers is good for stress relief, for me.
But what’s so good about dance?
Dance is awesome. I mean even if you don’t have any rhythm it is still a great time. You get your sweat on and well it beats running! It has the physical benefits that running does, high cardio, increased bone density and endurance perks. There are so many different styles that you never have to be stuck with one. Dance doesn’t always have to be social, but that is one of the main reasons why we do it. If you go to a class you get the opportunity to dance with someone new and learn a life long skill that will impress people for years. Would you rather go spend time on your own running after work or would you rather listen to chart hits and joke about your crazy moves with new, exciting people? I certainly know which one I’d rather do!
What about weight loss – which is better?
Undoubtedly, any physical activity can help with weight loss. Whether you choose to dance or run, just do it. However consider your weight when you choose to do either one. Running can lead to a higher risk of injury if you are not being properly coached. If you do start a running plan find someone who is willing to teach you proper technique. The last thing you want to do it start to get healthy and end up getting injury or tearing your PCL. Another issue with a running weight loss program is that you want to make this a life choice. It is REALLY difficult to keep running in the winter or when it is raining outside. You could get a treadmill, but let’s be honest those are annoying. So with dance, it is typically indoors unless you want to dance in the rain. I love this video(not the best quality, but you get it):
Did you know that you can burn about 1,200 calories in a zumba class? If you are looking for other fun at home dance classes try a Hip Hop Dance class or look for some friends and do some Contra Dancing! Contra Dancing is awesome and some say you can burn 2 to 3000 calories in one session.
What does ‘better’ really mean?
Better in the fitness community is a terrible term. Think about this. Which one will you do today and then do again tomorrow? Whatever your answer is that is the fitness program you should do. If you want to get into running try a running group, sign up for a 5K or do some trail running. On a side note trail running is awesome and more people should do it. But dance is FUN. Learning to two step, Top Rock, or spin someone is just a fun way to spend life with other people. Ultimately I am not going to say there is a better option, but what I will say is that dance is for everyone, where as running can exclude some people. So when I say ‘better’ I choose dance. So that’s it, grab your dance tops and let’s go boogie!