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Finding Your Outlet

Michelle found her outlet with dancing, which comes with all kinds of benefits. What's your outlet?

Author: Michelle Mamerto

In 2020 the temperature where I live climbed to at least 100 degrees 144 days out of the year. During shelter in place, it was a struggle for me to get outside when the temperatures were already 80 degrees by 6:30 AM. Being a native of the Bay Area, I took the beautiful weather and the fact that I could walk just about anywhere for granted. In searching for a way to keep fit while watching my wallet, I rediscovered an old love: dancing. Dancing is a great form of exercise. It’s something you can do just about anywhere, alone or with others. It’s an affordable form of exercise and best of all, dancing is fun and a great way to blow off steam.

Dancing has several health benefits. It can increase your muscle strength, improve your blood flow, increase stamina and flexibility, and reduce the risk for conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Something that most, if not all doctors recommend is regular exercise to improve your immune system function. Aside from helping to strengthen the immune system, dancing has great cardiovascular benefits, and it burns calories.

Dancing is an exercise that doesn’t always come with a hefty price. You just need to put on some music and start moving! Don’t be surprised if someone else at home joins you. Dancing is contagious. I like to get on YouTube and do mirrored dance choreography. We also do an interactive dance video game that can be played by 1-4 people. $25 will buy you a year’s subscription to a dance video game. You can also take matters into your own hands and use your own music and have a dance party at home- even while you’re cooking or cleaning. Of course, if you would like more formal instruction, the cost will vary.

A few months ago, I was watching a TV show where the lead characters, when under stress, would get together and “dance it out.” It’s no secret that music is a stress reliever, but combining music with dancing reduces stress, might help with sleep quality, and when done with a partner or in a group, can provide a sense of connection.

I have always enjoyed dancing and am glad to have rediscovered it as a form of exercise and a way to connect with my family. It might not be for everyone, but for me, it provides great health benefits, a way to relieve stress, and also another way to enjoy music- my other passion. Not too long ago, you would find me going out with friends to dance whenever the sun went down, and now you’ll find me dancing when the sun comes up!

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