Stop What You’re Doing and Dance

Why your body, brain, and mood need you to move

Kaki Okumura
Elemental

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Illustrations: Kaki Okumura

I was at the end of my workout, about to close out my music app, when one of my favorite songs came on.

Oh dang, I can’t press skip on this one.

I thought I would just continue stretching to it, but I couldn’t help but start dancing. I usually don’t dance — I’m pretty awful at it — but I decided to turn up the volume full blast and pretend I was celebrating something. Completely absorbed, I found that the music brought on a mix of nostalgia and delight, as it were one of the last songs I danced to before the pandemic hit.

As I was dancing, I accidentally caught my reflection in the window and thought I would cringe at myself, but instead I was surprised by what I saw: a face that was having so much fun.

Dancing is great for our bodies and brain health

Turns out, dancing is really great for our health: It’s an accessible way to get our heart pumping, support our cardiovascular health, and improve our balance and core strength. The gentle, self-paced nature of dancing means that even those with limited mobility or chronic health issues can participate.

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Kaki Okumura
Elemental

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱