Getting proper exercise is arguably most important for the elderly, and what better way to be fit than by dancing? Moving to the beat of music is fun at every age. Many of our residents dance regularly; and they know that the social aspect of dancing is as fun as stepping lively to the music. Plenty of researchers have weighed in on the subject, and the results are in: Senior citizens enjoy many health benefits from dancing.
Approved for You, No Matter Your Mobility Level
Whether you are in excellent health, out of shape, using a walker, or confined to a wheelchair, you can get in on the fun and benefits of dance. Moving to music has joyous and transformative power, especially when the music you hear brings a flood of pleasant memories.
More people would probably crowd dance floors everywhere if all of the many benefits of dance were known and understood. Attending a dance can lift your spirits to long-forgotten heights, kindle new romance, stir up creativity, and turn frowns into genuine smiles. There are many more benefits to dancing, such as:
- According to research that received recognition among physicians, people who participate in ballroom dancing a minimum of twice weekly are less likely to develop dementia.
- When people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease dance to music they are familiar with, they have been known to remember memories that had long been buried.
- Dancing chairs are available for people with limited mobility.
- If a 150-pound person engages in moderate social dancing for 30 minutes, he or she will burn approximately 150 calories.
- As fun as it is, dancing is in the category of weight-bearing, low-impact, moderate exercise, the same as bicycling, aerobics, and walking. As such, it provides the following health benefits:
- Toning your entire body
- Strengthening your muscles and bones without damaging your joints
- Improving your balance and posture, which helps to prevent falls
- Increasing your flexibility and stamina
- Reducing tension, anxiety, and stress
- Building confidence
- Warding off illnesses such as heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and diabetes
To Dip or Not to Dip
A terrific benefit of dance is that the level of physical exertion can easily be varied. Beginners or those who need to develop fitness can start out slow. Gradually dancers gain strength and stamina and can add dips and turns, for a more vigorous workout. There are a few important things that should be considered. As you contemplate dancing and the type of dance you may want to participate in, be sure the activity is safe for you:
- Has a doctor diagnosed you with a heart condition and instructed you to consult with him or her before getting involved in any new physical activities?
- When you physically exert yourself, do you feel chest pain?
- Do you ever become dizzy and lose your balance or lose consciousness?
- Could a change in physical activity cause a joint or bone problem to worsen?
- Are you currently taking prescription drugs for a heart condition or for blood pressure?
- Is there some reason you know you shouldn’t engage in a physical activity such as dancing?
Ready to Boogie?
Perhaps you have never taken dance lessons. A good place to start may be to try different types of dance. Dance classes are available at many different venues, including health clubs, YMCAs, dance schools, dance studios, and community recreation centers. The following are among the forms of dance you can choose from:
- Swing dance
- Line dancing to salsa, pop, rock, or country music
- Square dancing
- Folk dancing
The Social Side
If you go dancing as opposed to grooving in your own home, you will also gain the benefit of social interaction. Socializing is important for health and happiness. If you think about it, our best times in life are virtually always spent with people. Dancing provides an ideal opportunity for social engagement. The following are benefits of socializing:
- Socializing can greatly enhance your quality of life. The feeling of belonging is a boost at any age.
- You can find a sense of belonging and purpose by being part of a community of dancers.
- Your self-confidence and self-esteem both can be increased as a result of being part of a group of fellow dancers.
- Things in life that contribute to a positive state of mind, such as socializing, can cause the release of health-promoting chemicals in the body. These feel-good hormones contribute to a sharp mind and help fight off illness and disease.
Aston Gardens At Pelican Marsh is here to provide a range of senior living options for those ready to start the next chapter of their lives. Contact us today at 239.593.1923 to learn about our senior living programs, amenities, and floorplans.