Discovering Dancing Data

To be honest, I’m one of those people that despises running.  My sister-in-law is a fantastic and competitive runner, and my brother is a runner as well.  Just the idea of trudging along bores me.  The only way I’ve found to tolerate running is to go trail running, but I’d just rather get my cardio another way.  My favorite cardio is dancing.

Dancing is a great way to raise your heart rate, increase muscle mass, and help trim down.  Because dancing is ‘fun’ more people commit to this type of exercise.  It’s important to enjoy your exercise type because research has shown this increases your chances of staying fit.  Depending on the style and movements of dance, you will use different muscle groups and burn a different amount of calories.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to determine how many calories I am burning during my two different styles of dancing: swing dancing and pole fitness.  When I work out, I crave data.  I want to know what percentage of my body weight I’m lifting, my heart range, the percent incline, etc.  Personally, I found this information really motivating.  Here’s what I’ve found:

According to Fitness Blender:

Swing dancing ranges between 300 and 550 calories burned per hour.  With swing dancing, the intensity of the dance ranges according to the music’s beats per minute and your partner.  In more upbeat songs, I’ve found myself out of breath and dripping with sweat, while other slower songs seem more like a gentle stroll. Recently, I’ve been working more on stylizing my dance, which includes more complicated footwork and holds.  As a result, I’m getting much more worn out and improving my balance and strength.

Pole fitness ranges between 250 and 350 calories burned per hour.  One of my favorite things about this cardio activity is that it drastically improves my strength.  I’m a pretty flexible person (to the point of being labeled ‘hypermobile.’)  I didn’t realize it until physical therapy school, but my core and postural muscles in my back were pretty darn pathetic.  Pole fitness requires intense core support in order to maneuver, complete tricks, and hold positions.  I saw a great improvement in my arms and shoulders as well.  This muscle development led to some pretty funny wardrobe problems.  My thighs were huge and my waist was small.  Dress shirts were usually too tight around my shoulders.  One of pole friends ripped the back out of her shirt when reaching forward!

 

An important thing to remember is that these calorie ranges were based on people weighing 120-190 lbs.  Actual calories burned depends on weight, muscle mass, gender, and personal intensity put forth.  One great thing about building muscle is that it will increase your calories burned during exercise and even during rest!

Sources:

Exercise Adherence

Calories Burned During Dancing

Muscle Mass and Calories Burned

I am so thankful to Greg Todd & Smart Success PT for all that I have learned about physical therapy and businessPre-register for  Smart Success that re-launches in January. Be the first to know how to Change you Career!!

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