We here at WOD love to dance—shocking, right? But while our competitions showcase some of the best dancers in world, we firmly believe that dancing is for everyone, no matter your age or experience level. Dancing may also be one of the best things you can do for your health. We’ve broken down the top five reasons why you should incorporate dancing into your fitness routine below, so get ready to get moving.  

It’s Total Body Workout

Dancing works every part of your body and has been shown to be as effective as jogging or cycling with just an hour of Zumba burning anywhere between 350-650 calories on average. Beyond weight loss, dancing also improves flexibility, strength, and balance– making it a particularly ideal workout for athletes and older adults. 

You’ll Improve From the Inside and Out

While torching calories and toning your legs are obvious benefits of dance there are many more internal reasons to sign up for that local swing dancing class. Dancing has been linked to boosting one’s memory and may even slow or prevent dementia. And it doesn’t stop there, research has suggested that dancing can also lower your risk of heart disease, strengthen the lungs and circulatory system, and increase stamina, just to name a few. 

It will Boost Your Mood

Whether you’re trying out a new salsa class or dancing the night away at the hottest new club, dancing is a known mood booster. Rhythmic movement releases endorphins in your brain, which can reduce anxiety and stress and even increase energy. Some therapists have even prescribed dancing to help those with social anxiety which has proved to be extremely effective. 

You Get to Try Something New

One of the best things about dancing is that there is a wide variety of styles and genres to suit all ages and experience levels. Didn’t enjoy that ballet class your friend dragged you to? Try tap dancing, swing, ballroom, African dance, Zumba, hip-hop, belly dancing, Jazzercise, or just throw on your favorite upbeat playlist and freestyle! Dancing requires almost no special equipment and can be done in a social setting or in the privacy of your own home. So find what works best for you and get moving. 

Just Have Fun

Maybe the best thing about dancing for fitness is that it just doesn’t feel like a typical workout. For those of us who dread the thought of regular sessions at the gym, dancing may be the best remedy. It’s the perfect workout in disguise. Dancing can be as structured or unstructured, private or social, high intensity or low intensity as you desire. But more importantly, dancing is just fun, meaning there’s a greater chance you’ll stick to it if you incorporate into your fitness routine. So crank up the tunes and just dance- there’s literally no downside. 

The next episode of NBC World of Dance airs this Sunday! Watch as the best dancers in the world compete for a $1 million prize. Don’t miss exclusive interviews, performances, and more from the definitive source for all things World of Dance.