So what's your verdict on the ballroom blitz on Dancing With the Stars last night? We're still steaming from Romeo's cha-cha last week...and we're dying for him to flaunt his abs like he promised! Ever wonder what dance workouts can do for your body? "Dancing workouts will burn as many as, or more calories than, conventional workouts, with a number of additional benefits, physical and otherwise," says Elizabeth Larkam, M.A., spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. "The social nature of dancing will keep you motivated, the music elevates your mood and engages your brain, and the intimacy of a partner's touch adds an element of pleasure." Dancing also improves your balance because "you're required to move in all directions through space: backwards, forwards, sideways, turning.
How many calories do these dancing workouts torch? (Numbers are based on an hour-long workout for a 125-lb woman.)
Ballroom/social dance (waltz, foxtrot, country line dancing): 329 calories
Bonus: Holding on to your partner promotes toned arms; dancing in heels tones calves (just be sure to stretch)
Aerobic dance (Tango, jitterbug, paso-doble): 389 calories
Bonus: This dance style sculpts arms, trunk, and thighs
Vigorous aerobic dance (salsa, hip-hop, Zumba): 509 calories
Bonus: The lower-body action will whittle your hips, waist and legs.
Rule of thumb: The higher the music's beats per minute (BPM), the more calories burned. In comparison, here's the calorie burn for other workouts:
Moderate weight lifting: 180 calories
Stair climbing: 359 calories
Jumping rope: 539 calories
Rowing/kayaking: 329 calories
Cycling: 599 calories