Updated: August 26, 2011

Put on your favorite tunes and move-you can't help but smile. "It's hard to feel stressed, sad, orangry when you're dancing," says Mark Liponis, M.D., author ofUltraLongevity: The Seven-Step Program for a Younger,Healthier You. "Moving to a rhythm combines the benefits ofexercise and meditation-toning your muscles, reducing anxiety,and improving your mood-both of which have been shown toincrease immunity." Dancing also raises your heart rate, so every stephelps strengthen your ticker. One study showed that people whodid exercise that followed a rhythmic pattern lowered theirlevels of CRP (a protein in the blood that may raise the risk of heartdisease) more than those who walked or jogged. The effect wasso significant, dance classes are now a part of some cardiac-rehabilitationprograms. To improve your health without hitting the nightclub:Do step aerobics at your gym, walk to the beat of a favorite song, orgrab a partner and take dance lessons (social contact also helpsboost immunity). Moving for an hour two or three times a week willmaximize the benefits. But even the occasional sashay around your livingroom will do your heart-and the rest of your body-good.

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