Much like the popular Latin dance, the tango, which started outside of the spotlight in back alleys, pole dancing has reached a new level of popularity. Now there are university societies, clubs and competitions dedicated to practicing and celebrating pole dancing. But it isn’t just practiced for its aesthetic qualities as there are a number of health benefits associated with the dance.
We’ve summed up our 10 most surprising benefits of pole dancing.
1. It burns calories quickly
It might not be surprising that any form of dancing burns calories, not least one that encompasses moves where you’re upside down with only a pole for support, but pole dancing actually helps you burn calories very quickly. This is because it uses muscles in the entire body and you’re constantly moving. Not only will this build up lean muscle but pole dancing burns as many calories as aerobics in the same time.
2. It will make you more flexible
Starting slowly and mastering basic moves can quickly move on to doing the splits upside-down in mid-air. No matter the age, pole dancers attest that they are in the best shape of their lives. If you need more proof, look no further than Greta Pontarelli, a champion pole dancer who’ll be celebrating her 66th birthday in November.
3. It can build your self-confidence
There’s nothing quite like mastering a new move that you couldn’t do before. With new skills and improved fitness, you gain a new confidence that makes you walk tall.
4. It can help your kinesthetic awareness
Kinesthetic awareness is your brain’s ability to know where it is and what it’s doing. Yoga is often recommended for those with little kinesthetic awareness, but pole dancing can be a great alternative. It helps you to avoid nasty accidents like slipping, falling and knocking things over.
5. It can improve joint mobility
This can mean it is a great sport for the older generation and for preventing future joint pain. One particular benefit of increased joint mobility is that it can alleviate back pain. If you have an office job you can be hunched at your computer screen for hours of end. Pole dancing helps to stretch you out and improve posture. It will also help to reduce injuries such as sprains.
6. It’s a safe form of exercise
Unlike running or cycling, there is very little stress on joints. This means it’s an excellent way to work out if you already have joint pain because there will be less pressure. When practiced consistently, this safe way of working out can even reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.
7. You’ll be able to fall asleep much faster
Not only will you fall asleep faster but the quality of sleep will be better and you’ll feel less sleepy during the day. A study in Mental Health and Physical Activity found that sleepless during the day dropped by 65%, and getting 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week led to 65% improvement in sleep quality.
8. It’s fun and a great way to meet new people
Because you’re having so much fun and learning new skills it can be easy to forget you’re getting in a good workout. If you’re someone that gets bored spending hours on the treadmill, this could be a great alternative for you. What’s even better is that you can go with friends and meet new people in class.
9. It can make pregnancy and childbirth a bit easier
A lesser known fact about pole dancing is that because you’re building up your back muscles and core strength it can alleviate back pain during pregnancy. It can even help childbirth smoother and less painful.
10. You’ll be less stressed
As adrenaline builds up in your body you can become annoyed, depressed and stressed! One of the most important benefits of pole dancing is that it blows out all that adrenaline and causes your body to produce endorphins. In the words of Legally Blonde, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!”. Excellent.