Dance is a great way to exercise. Not only does dance burn calories, but it also improves our mood, with some studies showing dance can have a positive effect on symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving your overall quality of life.
So not only is dance a great solution if you're looking for how to get a slim waist, it's a powerful way to fight back against depressive symptoms.
One study from Selcuk University (opens in new tab) found that "it has been seen that dance affects the depression levels of university students positively and decreases their depression levels".
Lifting weights offers a similar benefits, as the reward chemicals in our brain are generated after strenuous physical exertion. Research from the University of Limerick (opens in new tab) says "Resistance exercise training significantly reduced depressive symptoms among adults regardless of health status, total prescribed volume of RET, or significant improvements in strength." It doesn't matter if you've never lifted weights before: you're still likely to get a mental health benefit.
This is where positive psychology expert and fitness trainer Cat Taylor (opens in new tab)'s 'happiness HIIT' dance workout comes in. The 30-minute workout below, filmed exclusively for Fit&Well, offers huge mood-boosting benefits by combining the two disciplines.
"You're going to need a little bit of equipment, such as light hand-weights or tin cans, as for some of the workout we'll be doing upper-body moves," says Cat. Follow along to the workout below:
Watch Cat Taylor's workout below:
Why do this workout?
Adding weights – even small ones – to a HIIT or aerobics-based workout will force you to work a little bit harder, building and toning muscles by creating small tears in the muscle fibers.
This is perfectly normal: it's why your muscles are often sore after a resistance workout, and the healing of these tears is what allows your muscles to get progressively bigger, stronger and more toned. You'll need a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells or best resistance bands to get you started.
Resistance training also offers a cardiovascular benefit. Combined with the HIIT training, an excellent way to burn calories in itself, this 30-minute circuit is a perfect weight loss workout for your front room.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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