Sunday, January 13, 2013

If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out...and Dance

Okay, I'll admit it I lied. I said I did absolutely nothing for the majority of winter break. False- I've become a pro at pretending to be able to sing and dance. Fake it til you make it, people. After discovering Spotify, I've spent endless hours blasting music, dancing like crazy, and singing at the top of my lungs in my room. (My deepest apologies to my family and neighbors.) Turns out, singing and dancing actually have many benefits. So for the record, I'm not losing my mind; I'm simply enriching my life ;)  

Whether you're talented or not, singing and dancing is necessary at least once in a while.  On a scale of one to Christina Aguilera, I'm a zero with my singing abilities- and my dancing is even worse. But ya know what? I still do it... and so should you! 

Dancing--
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”- Friedrich Nietzsche

Cutting a rug is not only an excellent form of exercise, but also a great confidence booster. In the UK, students who participated in a ten week dance program reaped the benefits. Not only did they have increased lung capacity and aerobic capacity, they were also more flexible. On top of that, the students had more motivation and self-esteem.  (http://www.girl.com.au/national-institute-of-youth-performing-arts.htm) If nothing else, remember- Luke Bryan told you to shake it and who could say no to that face? 

Singing--
"Life is a song- sing it." -Sai Baba

Karaoke night? YES. Not only is it fun (or maybe just hilarious), singing is good for both your mind and body. It exercises the lungs, and brings awareness to your breathing and the rest of your body, similar to yoga. Combat the flu this season by singing- it's thought to improve your immune system. Singing exercises your abs as well. Hello, six-pack! That might be stretching it a little, but still you get the point. Singing is an important part of expressing yourself so play your favorite song and sing along. Instantly, you'll feel happier. 

Music--

Both singing and dancing involve music. Lucky for you, listening to music is also good for you. Ever noticed how certain songs can affect your mood? If you said no, you're probably hiding under a rock. If that's the case you may have bigger issues than music can solve. Anyway, listening to your favorite songs can actually stimulate the release of dopamine in your brain which is associated with pleasure and addiction. Dopamine is also released when we have a crush or eat chocolate. Music can also help trigger your memory which could be helpful while doing homework or studying. Listening to tunes helps the brain concentrate. Plug in your headphones while working and see for yourself. According to a study at Brunel University in West London "music can help increase endurance by as much as fifteen percent, helping to lower the perception of effort during exercise, as well as increasing energy efficiency by between one and three percent" (http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/health-benefits-of-music.htm#ixzz2HtGAjl6b ). Music proves to be an effective means for therapy, as music can put into words what we are feeling. It's an excellent form of expression too. Feeling anxious about school, work, friends, family? Let the bass drop and enjoy the stress relieving powers of music. 



So next time you're at a party- dance. Next time there's karaoke- sing. And whenever you need a pick-me-up listen to music. Your life will suddenly feel like a happy-go-lucky musical. I can dig it. Zac Efron where you at?


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