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Dance Floor Cortisol and Testosterone

Remember the crowded night club dance scenes of the 80s and 90’s?

Some nights were routinely dry. Other nights were pumped with stress-induced pain and runaway hormones. Passion, pain and pumped up cortisol and testosterone. All of this with some drunkenness and dancing mixed in.

There is a drop in that dance floor cortisol and testosterone. This might be due to less classical or even couples dancing, anymore.

When dancing does happen, it is often a big en masse activity. Which is O.K. for grooving to the tunes and having fun with friends. But, the chaos to music has little or no advantage over the classics of the dance floor.

Sure enough, night club bouncing around works up a sweat, gets you out in pubic and makes some time with the opposite sex. But, the classic dances have a distinct advantage when it comes to strength, grace and health.

Bodybuilder, Michael H. Brown advocates classic dancing to build strength and grace. In his book, Diagnostic Body Building, he mentions how his injured hip recovered from taking Latin dance classes. Several athletes were good dancers. Martial artist great, Bruce Lee won a cha-cha competition in high school. Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson used to dance for change as a teen.

What is really fascinating is the effects of Latin dancing on the human hormonal system.

Psychology Professors Cynthia Ouiroga Murcia Phd and Stephan Bongard from the Goethe University Frankfurt and Musicology professor Gunter Kreutz from the Carl von Ossietzky University conducted a study on the effects of tango dancing on dancers’ stress hormonal levels. They did this by regularly testing the cortisol and testosterone levels of the dancers’ saliva.

(As you might know, cortisol is meant to protect the body from inflammation, but often causes high blood pressure and weight gain. Testosterone builds muscle in men.)

The researchers found:

1. Passive listening to music, tended to increase testosterone in women and lower testosterone in men. But, active tango dancing did not effect the testosterone levels in either dancer. (So, guys who dance are protecting their testosterone levels.)

2. The tango dancing is a moderate activity at about 55% exertion capacity for most people. These means the tango dancers burned less Calories than the nightclub style of dancers. But, the tango dancers produced less stress and therefore little cortisol.

Now it gets really interesting.

3. Regular dancing with a partner and music lowered the cortisol levels in both the male and female dancers.

4. Dancing alone or without music was significantly less beneficial than dancing with a partner and with the music.

Is it any mystery that many good dancers live tend to live long?

Learn more about longevity methods in Flat Gut After 50.

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