When talking about exercising at home, Just Dance rarely gets mentioned even though it’s a pretty good way to get the blood pumping.
You can easily burn calories by dancing. However, it’s not always obvious what you should be doing, especially without a coach. This is why games like Just Dance can help as you’ll be guided through what you need to do.
In this article, Superprof is looking at how the Just Dance series of video games can help you to exercise. You’ll see how you can improve your stamina, lose weight, and tone muscle, just by playing the game regularly.
Just Dance: A Global Success
Usually, if you want to practise dancing, you may have to attend classes in a gym or dance academy or get private tutorials from a tutor. However, in times such as a global pandemic, you mightn’t be able to do that.
Games like Ubisoft’s Just Dance series can provide a solution. Since the first game in the series was released for the Nintendo Wii in 2009, players have been shaking their bums and dancing along to the most popular songs in the world from the comfort of their own home.
Since the original release on the Nintendo Wii, the series has seen releases on many different platforms:
- Wii U
- Playstation 3
- Playstation 4
- Playstation 5
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Xbox Series X/S
- Nintendo Switch
The gameplay is generally the same regardless of the platform. You’ll be dancing by replicating the movements shown to you on the screen. On the Switch, you use the Joy-Cons (controllers).
Since its launch in 2009, Just Dance has become the #1 dancing video game and the best way for families and friends to dance together.
Just Dance 2021 was released in November of 2020 and is the first in the series not to be released on the Nintendo Wii. While available on various platforms, we’d recommend playing it on the Switch. Part of Just Dance’s success is its soundtrack with popular music across several decades and genres of music.
Here are some examples of the music in the game:
This simple activity could become a very addictive pastime.
Is Just Dance Really Exercise?
Can Just Dance be a good work out?
The best thing about Just Dance is that you can play on your own or multiplayer with friends or family.
Let’s make one thing clear, though. Just Dance probably won’t teach you how to dance. However, it’s a great way to burn calories and lose weight. When done regularly, you can burn a lot of calories.
Just Dance could act as a warm-up for your regular exercises or a decent exercise session in its own right. To get the most out of each session, you have to get moving, though.
The most interesting option is probably the Sweat mode which is designed to get you moving and, you guessed it, break a sweat.
There are also co-op and online modes so you can play with others. In some cases, it might be worthwhile having someone else there with you for motivation.
Of course, some songs are more difficult than others or require you to move more. The trickiest include:
- Without Me - Eminem
- Kick It - NCT 127
- Buscando - GTA and Jenn Morel
- Yameen Yasar - DJ Absi
- Animals - Martin Garrix
- Rasputin - Boney M
- Ice Cream - BLACKPINK with Selena Gomez
- Magenta Riddim - DJ Snake
- Scream & Shout - will.i.am ft. Britney Spears)
- Fancy Footwork - Chromeo
You don’t need to play on the hardest difficulty setting to enjoy the benefits as long as you’re moving around energetically as some of the moves can be quite tricky after all. Just look for the extreme version of Feel Special by TWICE to see what we mean.
At this point, you’re bound to burn a few calories. Of course, you need to do more than just 3 minutes of dancing. Fortunately, there are plenty of songs for you to go through.
The Advantages of (Just) Dancing to Lose Weight
We’ve already said that dancing isn’t something you can take lightly. You’ll work out several muscle groups by moving around but if you take shortcuts, you won’t enjoy any of the benefits.
Just Dance, when played enthusiastically, will help you to tone muscles in your upper and lower body. After all, your whole body is involved when you dance and the energy required will help you burn fat, too.
The benefits of dancing include:
- Working on your balance and coordination
- Losing weight by burning fat
- Training muscle tissue
- Improving your stamina
- Boosting your mood
Don’t underestimate the benefits of dancing when compared to other sports; just look at Zumba. The same is true for Just Dance and other games like Ring Fit Adventure, which we recommend you play, too.
If you’re looking to lose weight or get in shape, just dance! If you’re just getting started, you’ll probably enjoy how little equipment this activity requires.
Getting the Most Out of Each Session
“The job of feet is walking, but their hobby is dancing.” - Amit Kalantri
If you’ve decided to exercise with Just Dance, you’ll want to get the most out of every minute you spend doing it. There’s no point in playing Just Dance for a few minutes at a time as you won’t see any benefits.
Additionally, you’ll need to watch what you eat. There are two parts to a healthy lifestyle: diet and exercise so you can’t just exercise and eat food that’s bad for you.
Your surroundings play an important role, too, as you want somewhere with enough space to play and no risk of injury. It’s also a good idea to warm up before you do any complicated exercises or moves.
If you’re not comfortable doing a song on the most difficult setting, don’t. Start with easier modes and less strenuous songs as this can help keep you motivated. Some YouTubers’ve made compilations and playlists of songs that you could follow to get a complete workout.
If you’re looking to lose weight and have a games console like the Nintendo Switch, you may want to pick up Just Dance.
Now you should know a little more about using games like Just Dance to lose weight. To learn more about other video games that could be good for your health, check out our other articles.
You can also get private coaching from the tutors on Superprof.
Generally, tutorials are offered face-to-face or online to individuals or groups. Each type of training and tuition has its pros and cons so think carefully about which one would be right for you, your level, your fitness goals, and your budget.
Face-to-face fitness instructors can tailor each session to you and your level to ensure that you get the most out of every activity you do. Usually, this type of coaching is more costly than the others as you're paying for the tutor's time in and out of the sessions as well as the time and money they have to spend to get to you. Of course, with every minute focusing on you, this type of training is also the most cost-effective.
Group training sessions are great for those on a budget as you can spread out the cost of the instructor's time since every member of the class will be paying for the session. While this means that you won't be able to enjoy sessions that are tailored just to you, there will be other participants there and it can be motivating to exercise with others, especially if they're of a similar fitness level.
Thanks to the internet, online personal training sessions are also available. Much like with video games, your trainer will be behind a screen. Since they don't have to travel to their customers, they usually charge less as they don't have to worry about travel costs and can also schedule more sessions each week due to the time saved by not travelling.
Remember that a lot of the tutors and personal trainers on Superprof offer the first lesson or session for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several different fitness instructors or tutors before deciding on which one is right for you. With personal training, it's really important that you like your instructor and get on well with them as you'll be much more willing to do the strenuous exercises they want you to do.
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