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Many of us find exercise hard work.

Here's good news: Dance is a great way to give the body a total aerobic workout and burn up calories.

It takes the 'work' out of the exercise session and replaces it with 'fun'!

It lifts up your spirits and is a great social activity as well. Besides, dancing is a great moodlifter.

Dance to be fit!

Here are the health benefits that dancing provides:

~It helps tone muscles, strengthen bones and lose weight.

~Dance is extremely aerobic -- it uses oxygen, burns calories and increases your heart's workload.

~Dance can burn as many calories as walking, swimming or riding a bicycle.

In fact, moderate dancing burns seven calories per minute. Vigorous dancing (like Salsa) burns as many as 100 calories in 10 minutes.

On average, one can burn 420 to 700 calories in a spirited dance class.

Gautam Rajani, an instructor at the popular Shiamak Davar's Dance Workshop in Bandra, northwest Mumbai, highly recommends dancing as a way to be fit. "So many of my clients have come to me saying they have lost three or four kilos in a month, just by dancing here. The key is to be regular and really give it your all. Don't cheat!"

Dance has its benefits too

Dance may not provide all the conditioning you need, but it can help. The degree of cardiovascular conditioning depends on how vigorously you dance, how long you dance continuously and how regularly you dance.

Dr Ashok Mehta, a general practitioner, says, "To get the exercise benefits of dancing, approach it as you would any workout routine. Do some movement for at least 30 consecutive minutes, three times a week, for cardiovascular benefits.

"Make sure you warm up and cool down before and after the session.

"If you dance vigorously enough and don't need to lose much weight, you won't have to walk or do any other exercise. But if you are overweight, you will need to walk or jog the other days of the week."

Here are a few of the dance forms you can try:

Text: Reanna Rupani

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