Our journey into fun ways to stay fit continues with salsa dancing, that playful, flirty, high energy partner dance that is equally as spicy and enjoyable as the condiment it shares its name with. After a nearly year long hiatus I returned to salsa this weekend and I couldn't be happier. I wish I could say my feet are equally as thrilled.
Salsa is the perfect combo of cardio, body weight resistance exercise, and brain teaser. Salsa will give you a great workout, literally, from head to toe.
Head: Dance requires you to work your brain as much as you work your body. Remembering steps and counts, reacting to cues from your partner, and keeping time with the music all require various parts of your brain you might not use as much during your typical day to day activities.
Heart: Salsa is a fast paced dance that will get your blood pumping and your heart rate up. By the end of most songs I have broken a sweat and am breathing noticeably harder.
Core: All forms of dance require the use of your core muscles to stay upright. Many styles of salsa also heavily incorporate spins and turns. Spinning and turning without maintaining some sort of contraction in your abs is incredibly difficult if not impossible. A stronger core without the crunches can be yours.
Butt and Legs: Many women dance salsa in heels or on releve, a dance term meaning on the balls of your feet, which strengthens the calves. Salsa is usually danced with relaxed or bent knees; this works the glutes and the quads.
Ankles and Feet: Dancers have ridiculously strong ankles and feet. Dancing on the balls of your feet not only builds strength in your calves, it also builds strong ankles, arches, and insteps.
If you love music and want to try something fun to whip your body and mind into shape without going to the gym give salsa a go.