In the UK we are all set for another series of Strictly Come Dancing. All of the contestants have been named and they include Olympians Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith, as well as Jerry Hall, Fern Britton, Denise Van Outen, Nicky Byrne, Michael Vaughan and Johnny Ball.

However if you have watched previous series of this hit show, or watched Dancing With The Stars (as it is more commonly known) in other countries, you may well have noticed that the contestants tend to lose a lot of weight. This is particularly noticeable when some of the contestants were quite overweight to begin with.

This reinforces the point that I want to try and get across in this article – that dancing is a great way of losing weight.

The fact is that even if you dance around to your favourite music in the privacy of your own home, you will still be burning lots of calories. Indeed putting on some upbeat music in your bedroom and going crazy for 15-30 minutes or more will really work up a sweat and help you burn a decent amount of calories.

Attending dance classes can also have the same effect because even slow ballroom dances can leave you slightly breathless. Plus of course joining a local dance group is a great way of meeting new people, and possibly a new romantic partner.

One of the great things about using dancing as a means of losing weight is that you do not necessarily need to go to the gym or do lots of additional exercise. Many forms of exercise can be really tedious, and it can be hard to motivate yourself to do these exercises. However you will actually look forward to your dance sessions, and you will be losing weight at the same time.

If you don’t feel ready to join your local dance class, or have two left feet, then you can simply go down to your local nightclub and dance the night away. If you limit yourself to water or fruit juice, for example, and resist the urge to drink alcohol, then you may well be able to shift an inch or two from your waistline over time.

The point is that dancing is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do, and because it is quite a vigorous activity, it is great for burning calories and losing weight. So if you haven’t considered taking up dancing, now might be a good time to start because it is a lot more fun than running or going to the gym several times a week.