Whether you enjoy the elegant tango, energetic polka, or grooving to the beat of your own drum, dancing is fun for people of all ages. Unfortunately, most people reserve dancing for special occasions like weddings or parties. Why not dance on a random weeknight, at a weekly class with friends, or even first thing in the morning? Although it may seem like just a bit of fun, there are many health benefits of dancing that are often overlooked.
Health Benefits of Dancing
Boost Your Heart Health
The American Heart Association recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week, for heart health. Do you know what counts as moderate-intensity exercise? Dancing! If you increase the speed and really get your heart pumping, dancing can even count as vigorous exercise.
Increase Strength and Improve Balance
Looking to gain a little muscle? Ever feel a bit shaky on your feet? Dancing can help you increase your leg strength and improve your balance and flexibility. Not only will this reduce your risk of falls, but it may also help you feel more confident and agile on your feet. Plus, it may improve your posture (source).
Improve Your Mood
According to a study conducted by researchers from Queensland University of Technology, seniors who participated in 10 dance classes reported increased feelings of happiness (source). This may go hand in hand with another common effect of dancing: a greater sense of community and friendship. After all, it’s hard to feel sad when you’re surrounded by friends and feel connected to a group of like-minded individuals.
Lower Your Risk of Disability
A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that dancing was associated with a reduced risk of disability. Participants in the study who danced frequently actually had a 73 percent lower chance of being disabled during the study period compared to those who did not. Amazingly, none of the other exercises explored in the study (including calisthenics, walking, and yoga) had such a strong association with a decreased risk of disability after adjusting for demographic and health factors (source).
Challenge Your Brain
Dancing isn’t just a physical activity; it also requires mental skill. In many styles of dance, you have to learn and remember the choreography, adapt to the music, and concentrate on what you’re doing. Dancing with a partner involves an especially heavy cognitive demand, as each partner must know their own steps and avoid mimicking the other person’s movements. Unlike other forms of exercise, like running, cycling, and swimming, which are more linear, dancing requires memorization and reacting quickly in the moment (source).
In addition to all the health benefits of dancing, keep in mind that dancing is extremely accessible. You can literally do it anywhere (though you may get some funny looks if you dance down the aisles of the grocery store or get your groove on in your dentist’s waiting room). So if you don’t want to go to the gym and it’s too cold to exercise outside, just put on some music and start moving!
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.