Going to the gym and doing exercise routines can be pretty hard to stick with if you’re the kind of person who needs a great deal of motivation to get moving. Personally, I’d rather join a fitness class or even learn a new skill or sport where someone leads and where participants can make friends, interact and boost one another’s morale.

If you find that utilizing the gym to be too boring for you, you can opt to sign up for classes such as yoga, Pilates, and kickboxing. Another great option is to get your groove on and sign up for a class that teaches dance.

Dance not only urges every muscle in your body to move, but also keeps your brain alert and active as you memorize steps and follow rhythms. A Harvard Medical School feature notes that “dance has been shown to have all the benefits of other forms of exercise.” These include:

1. Reducing Fat

If you want to shed off your belly fat, then better get your hips swaying, as according to LiveStrong, “belly fat shrinks in response to a more physically active lifestyle,” and dancing is a good way to start it off.

2. Building Muscle

Dancing teaches you to be aware of how every part of your body moves. Professional dancers have conscious control of their muscles, which is one reason why they have such lean physiques. Imagine the amount of strength it takes a ballerina to do fouettes (full turns on one foot), which is considered to be one of the hardest moves in ballet!

3. Strengthening Bones

Strengthening your bones means subjecting them to “dynamic impact.” To achieve this, Dr. Vonda Wright tells the New York Times that you can try hopping, jumping, and of course, dancing. While running up and down the stairs, doing squats, and jumping rope are great, dancing can be very effective and more interesting as well. “The waltz or swing dance is one of the most popular things I prescribe,” she says.

4. Lowering Blood Pressure

If you’re beginning to feel the effects of hypertension as you age, shaking your booty is a good way to deal with it. According to Mayo Clinic, “Regular physical activity—at least 30 minutes most days of the week—can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)… The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.”

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Still thinking if whether or not you should go for it? Listen to what these famous dancers have to say about how dancing changed their lives:

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