By Stephanie Castillo for Prevention.com
So you think you can’t dance? We’re here to tell you: There’s no right or wrong way to shake that booty—and doing it might very well be the health boost you need, finds new research.
Swedish researchers, writing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, studied 112 teenage girls who were struggling with problems including neck and back pain, stress, anxiety, and depression. Half of the girls attended weekly dance classes, while the other half didn’t. The results? The girls who took the dance classes improved their mental health and reported a boost in mood—positive effects that lasted up to eight months after the classes ended.
“According to these results, despite problems such as stress and other potential challenges in being an adolescent girl, dance can result in high adherence and a positive experience for the participants,” says lead study author Anna Dubert, of Sweden’s Center for Health Care Sciences, in a press release. “[This] might contribute to sustained new healthy habits.”
Of course, you don’t have to be a teen (or a professional dancer) to reap these benefits.
Keep reading for five varieties of dance to shimmy your way to a better mood…
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