In a study conducted by the University of Oxford, researchers found that those who engage in synchronized dance have high pain thresholds. Wanderlust reports that researchers looked at 264 students in Brazil, some of whom were asked to dance individually and others in groups. Pain threshold was "monitored by a blood pressure cuff, which determined how much pressure they could withstand." Those who danced more vigorously released more endorphins and so could withstand more pain. But demonstrating the highest pain threshold were those who danced in a group as one.
Surveys completed before and after the activity showed that those who performed synchronized activities together felt a bond with one another afterward. One of the researchers summed up the report’s findings: “Not surprisingly, those who did full-bodied exertive dancing had higher pain thresholds compared to those who were seated in the low-exertion groups. But curiously we also found that synchronization led to higher pain thresholds, even if the synchronized movements were not exertive. So long as people saw that others were doing the same movement at the same time, their pain thresholds went up.” The researcher concludes that “moving energetically or moving in synchronization can both make you feel closer to others when you are dancing, and lead to higher pain thresholds. But dance which combined high energy and synchrony had the greatest effects.”
In the mood to bond with your friends while burning some fat before the holidays kick in? Check out some of these effective workouts you can do with your pals. And, as always, check with a medical professional before getting started to see if these workouts are right for you.
Get a sampling a variety of dance styles, such as Latin and African dance, with dancer Keaira LaShae’s Burn to the Beat Workout Series for BeFit. The majority of videos clock in at around 10 minutes each, so you can mix and match them to customize your workout to your needs and fitness goals. LaShae’s demeanor is energetic and motivational; you can’t help but have fun with her even when you’re feeling the burn. Latin Fat Burn Sizzle will make you forget that you’re actually working out until the sweat starts to drip from your brow. This workout paired really well with Body Toning Afro Beat workout. The 10-minute videos don’t have a warm-up or cool-down component, so you’ll have to add your own. Try one of these warm-up exercises and cool down with LaShae’s Burn to the Beat Dance Cool-Down and Flexibility video. For a more intense workout, check out the Burn to the Beat Dance Interval Series, 17-minute workouts that use a Tabata format to promote maximum burn in a short amount of time. These videos include short warm-up and cool-downs. Choose from a variety of hot dance styles like Reggaeton and Cardio Hip Hop.
Trainer Simone de la Rue has created a dance cardio workout technique as part of British fitness fashion retailer Sweaty Betty’s Get Fit 4 Free campaign. Called Body by Simone, this intense workout is a little more than 30 minutes long, and the cardio segments are interspersed with toning, so you have the opportunity to move around and enjoy dancing in between tough arms, glutes and plank-heavy abs workouts.
Don't forget to check out some of the dance routines we've featured here for you before. Ballet lovers have plenty of options, from classic ballet toning like Mary Helen Bowers’ Ballet Beautiful to Sleek Technique, a barre bootcamp class that is also a part of the Sweaty Betty Get Fit 4 Free campaign. Then there’s Yoga Booty Ballet and Tracy Mallett’s Booty Barre, two more barre-inspired dance sensations. Don’t count out Zumba, which will get you moving with easy-to-follow Latin dance hip-hop and pop dance cardio. Go Bollywood with Doonya, a series that will teach you exciting dance moves and have you fully immersed in the playfulness and spirit of bhangra and other styles of dance.