Ballroom dancing a good workout

September 5, 2006

A Mexican study finds ballroom dancing can give as good an aerobic workout as more conventional forms of exercise.

Dr. Hermes Ilarraza of the National Institute of Cardiology reported on his findings to the World Congress of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain, the Daily Mail said.

"The benefits of physical training in patients with heart disease is well established," he said. "However, exercise compliance is often inadequate because patients find exercise boring. People like to dance so we thought it would be an attractive option."

Ilarraza tracked a group of 40 heart disease patients. All the patients committed to doing half an hour of exercise a day five days a week for five weeks, the Daily Mail said.

Half got their exercise from a dance routine choreographed by a professional dancer who also had heart disease, while the others exercised on stationary bicycles.

Ilarraza found that the dance group's exercise capacity increased by 28 percent, almost as much as the 31 percent increase for the cycling group.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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