08 July, 2011
Does Hip Hop Dancing Help You Lose Weight?
Hip hop dance classes offered by gyms and rec centers are a form of aerobic exercise that can help you lose weight. Participants perform choreographed dance moves that incorporate a variety of breaking, locking and popping movements. Consult your doctor prior to taking hip hop dancing or any other means of exercise for weight loss.
Hip hop dancing is a form or aerobic -- or cardiovascular -- exercise, which is any type of activity that causes you to break a sweat and elevates your heart rate. Aerobic exercise helps to increase your endurance. Hip hop dancing is considered a high-impact form of aerobics. In gyms, hip hop dancing is generally performed in a 60-minute class.
High-impact, or aerobic, dancing burns about 330 calories an hour for a 120-lb. person or 480 calories for a 154-lb. person, according to the "Compendium of Physical Activities: Classification of Energy Costs of Human Physical Activities." The number of calories burned depends on your current weight and physical activity level. Dancers who weigh more are typically able to burn more calories per hour provided they exercise at full intensity. To lose one pound of fat, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume. Hip hop dancing can help you burn these calories while increasing your stamina and improving your circulation.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week. For vigorous aerobic activity -- such as hip hop dancing at full intensity -- partake in one hour and 15 minutes each week. If you are unsure of how hard you are exercising, try to carry on a conversation while you are working out. When you can carry on a conversation, you are participating in moderately intense exercise. If you cannot carry on a conversation, you are participating in vigorously intense exercise. Both types of exercise will increase your pulse rate and cause you to break a sweat.
A regular routine of hip hop dancing can lead to weight loss. Hip hop dancing can also help to increase your strength and build strong, healthy bones. Combine exercise with a healthy diet and an overall healthy lifestyle to see the best results. Reduce your fat intake and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats. If you smoke or drink alcohol, kicking these habits can help to increase your fitness and eventual weight-loss results. Discuss your weight-loss progress and high-intensity dance exercise with your healthcare provider to ensure that you are healthy enough to continue with hip hop dancing.
- NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training; National Academy of Sports Medicine; 2008
- USA Today: How Many Calories Have You Burned?
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images