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Dancing your way to a healthier lifestyle

Senior Wellness | Jul 28, 2015

When we dance, we allow music to move our bodies and spirits. It serves as a fun way to interact with others, and even benefits our health. If you decide to enroll in a dance class, or just get your groove on regularly, you will participate in one of the greatest low impact exercises for seniors.

"Dancing also encourages socials interaction and a sense of community."

Benefits of dancing
According to a study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, researchers found dancing can reduce a person's risk of falling by improving his or her balance. Additionally, moving along to your favorite song can increase your heart rate. According to the report, numerous studies indicated the activity provides many physical benefits among older adults.

Dancing also encourages social interactions and a sense of community between participants. This can help improve their overall wellness and keep everyday life fun and exciting.

Sign up for a dance class
There may be a wide variety of dancing classes you can register for in your neighborhood. But before you get started, you should reach out to your health care provider to help you decide which type of dancing is best for you. They often vary in intensity, and you want to ensure you are capable of participating in the class. However, while it is important to listen to your doctor's opinion, Livestrong.com, a lifestyle blog, noted that dancing can be done at your own pace, which allows for more flexibility. Make sure you know your limits when participating. If you feel like you need a break, don't hesitate to sit down and drink a little water.

Some low-impact dance classes include:

  • Jazz
  • Ballroom
  • Tap
  • Salsa
  • Zumba

Head to your local dance studio, and ask about various levels and types offered. Also, inquire about sitting in and observing a few different classes before making your decision. While tap dancing might sound fun, you may watch it and realize it is far too fast-paced for your ability.

Ask a friend or two to join you, and have some fun cutting a rug. It can be a fun way to reconnect with old pals. Even consider having them bring another friend to build new relationships through dance class.

"Ask a friend or two to join you and have some fun cutting a rug."

Zumba for the elderly
Zumba, one of the recently popularized forms of dance, is a fun way to become more active. According to Today's Geriatric Medicine, Zumba, which is often available at local gyms, is becoming a popular class among seniors. This particular style of dancing is fun and beneficial for all.

"It's a lot of cardio and you definitely get the benefit of strengthening the cardiovascular system," Joy Prouty, a Zumba fitness instructor, told the site. "But because it's also a weight-bearing exercise, that helps with the bones. Also, because we keep people moving, it helps preserve, restore, or improve range of motion. That, in turn, can help with peoples' posture. Good posture not only helps you look better but can help make everyday activities easier to do."

Don't be intimidated
Whether you have had experience with dancing in the past or not, you can find a class that fits your skills. Ask about beginner-level options, and even consider meeting with the instructor ahead of time if you are a little nervous. It's alright to be hesitant, but help make yourself more comfortable by diving into the environment.

Dancing is a great way to improve your cardiovascular strength and balance. Enjoy yourself while you enhance your overall wellness, and get boogying!