Objectives Folk dance is a form of physical activity which provides the ability to use the whole body in a coordinated form with music, and these characteristics vary according to geographic region. Aims of the study were to evaluate the effects of 12-week folk dance training on blood oxidative stress level, lipids and lipoproteins, muscle damage markers and also to define some physical and physiological properties of dancers.
Methods Thirty eight healthy male folk dancers, between the ages of 21-28 and having an average of 11 years of dance training background, voluntarily participated in the study. All of the physical and physiological measurements and blood analysis were measured two times, before and after the training period which consists of different regional dances (Caucasus, Bar, Zeybek, Spoon Dance, Thracian dances and Horon) 2 hours daily and totally 10 hours a week during 12 weeks training period.
Results All blood parameters were found within the specified reference ranges. Training program had no significant effect on the blood lipid profile, whereas it was found to have improving effects on body fat (p ≤ 0.012), peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak, p = 0.000), muscle damage marker (for creatine kinase, Δ% = −19.6) and total antioxidant capacity (p ≤ 0.002).
Conclusions Folk dance may be thought not to require sport specific physical and physiological characteristics. In the present study regular folk dance training was found to ensure improvement on body fat, VO2peak, positive effects blood total antioxidant capacity and muscle damage markers in dancers. Based on these results, community should be encouraged to perform folk dance as a kind of popular physical activity.
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