If there’s anything you know about Latinos, it is that they love music and dancing. From the moment we were born, our mothers would blast Selena Quintanilla songs and teach us all the traditional dances from our homeland. Think salsa, champeta, and cumbia.
But besides being a fun hobby that brings families together during parties, dancing also has many health benefits.
As mothers, we constantly look for extracurricular activities to sign up our children for, such as ballet lessons.
However, these extracurricular activities don’t need to be limited to just them. Mothers can also reap the health benefits of dancing.
You don’t have to be a professional performer competing at shows and have the skill of a well-seasoned dancer, either.
The most important aspect is that you get up and get moving.
Increases Physical Activity
Being physically active is one of the most important factors in living a healthy life. According to the CDC, “being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.” Therefore, it is fundamental for you to have a routine in which you exercise.
However, we understand that it may not be stimulating enough for you to go to the gym every day to walk on a treadmill and lift some weights. You may need more action, more entertainment. This is when you should consider dancing.
A study evaluating women attending Zumba dance classes found that “it could be an alternative exercise modality that can help reduce the health risks associated with sedentary behaviors and improve the quality of life in sedentary adult women.” This shows that physical activity, no matter what kind, matters.
Dancing helps during labor
Pondering about going into labor and how the childbirth process is stressful in and of itself. While nothing can truly prepare you for the whole process, there are some techniques you can practice to help you during the entire situation.
For instance, a study found that “dancing during the first stage of labor decreased pain.” While further research must be conducted to determine exactly how it helps, it can be related to the fact that dancing is often accompanied by music, and listening to music during labor “has been found to decrease anxiety, pain, blood pressure, heart rate, and postpartum analgesic requirement.”
So, laboring moms, if dancing to the “Baby Mama” song on Tik Tok helps you, then go for it!
Dancing helps during pregnancy
Now, we’ve talked about dancing during labor, but what about during pregnancy?
As you’ve seen, dancing is beneficial for your physical health and can help you cope with the effects of child labor. The same applies during your pregnancy, as these times can be very difficult due to all the hormonal changes your body undergoes.
What’s even better is that dancing during your pregnancy can have positive effects on your child’s neuromotor skills. A recent study showed that exercise during pregnancy, such as dancing, is “associated with higher neuromotor scores in infants at one month of age.”
Furthermore, for all my clumsy moms out there, did you know that dancing can actually help you with your balance? In 2021, researchers found that dancing improves your balance, especially those females that dance regularly.
Improving your balance will bring life-long effects such as enhancing older people’s “aerobic capacity, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, physical reaction time, agility, and gait,” in addition to reducing “the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks.
Dancing helps moms’ mental health
Lastly, dancing can easily become an outlet for mothers. This can be their way of expressing themselves and disconnecting from the real world. After all, moms also need breaks and should practice self-care.
You cannot expect a mom to care for their children if they do not have the time to take care of themselves. Some of the many benefits of dancing for your mental health include (but are not limited to) improving your self-esteem, lowering your anxiety, and easing your depression.