Yes and no. Research is mixed, but it appears that high-octane dancing can make you more muscular.
It’s possible that dancing builds certain types of muscle fiber better than non-dancers, said Dr. Steven G. Martin, a professor of exercise sciences at University of Alabama.
For instance, it has been shown that high-intensity dancing increases muscle size, strength and endurance while decreasing fat and fat-free mass — something scientists believe would translate to increased muscle density.
But dancing alone may not be enough to build the muscles that you want — or maybe you’d prefer to improve your physical fitness.
“When people see more muscle, it’s hard for them to quit it,” King said. “They’re like, ‘OK, I’ll dance once in a while,’ but if they want to get that extra three pounds, they have to train.”
For that reason, Gertler said you should “do everything for your body,” including “dancing, lifting weights and strength training.”
Gertler suggested doing “all six,” such as cardio, strength training, muscle groups workouts and jogging.
What about those people who don’t do physical activity?
That depends on your goals — whether you want to get better at sports or increase your muscle mass by dancing.
Martin recommends getting off the couch and exercising at least 150 minutes per week. The research suggests you can improve your body mass and strength by doing at least three workouts per week, he added.
What about those who just want to lose weight?
Again, that may or may not be a good idea. Your body’s metabolism slows down during exercise, so the less time you can spend exercising, the less gain you can see from any added muscle, Gertler said.
Dr. David L. Katzmarzyk, director of the Endocrine Research Center at University of Iowa, agrees. When you exercise, your body produces hormones normally secreted by your ovaries. Exercising can cause cortisol to go up, which leads to feelings of being underappreciated, he said.
So if you know at any time you have too much energy or need to take a break, you should eat.
“When there’s a time you haven’t been active, don’t go to the gym,” Katzmarzyk said. “But you have that time to go to the gym because for all those people who feel they shouldn
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