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Dancing into old age provides health benefits

Dancing isn't just a way to cut loose and "feel" the music.  New studies show that dancing can actually provide a wealth of health benefits, especially for those older in age. Below are a list of benefits you would get when dancing in your older years.

Posted 08-24-2017 by Nick Eugenis

1. Dance helps to improve balance
This benefit is evident in a study of a group of social dancers from the Bronx, who were an average age of 80 years old. These seniors danced an average of four days a month and had been dancing for an average of 30 years. When compared with a control group of non-dancing seniors, the dancers weren’t stronger than the non-dancers, but they had better balance and “longer steps and strides reflecting a better walking pattern.” This is what helps to prevent falls. Dance is also linked to improved “balance confidence,” when seniors are less afraid of falling and more confident in their stability.

2. Dance improves strength and gait
One study found that a group of senior citizens who participated twice a week, for ten weeks, in an Argentine tango class had increased lower body strength and a longer, stronger walking stride compared to a similar group who exercised by walking for the same amount of time. Another great result that was discovered from the study is that the older people who once were afraid of getting around on their own and going up and down stairs, no longer had that same concern.

3. Dance helps improve cognitive abilities
In a group of older dancers studied in Sweden in 2010, seniors who had danced on an amateur level for an average of 16 years were found to have better “reaction time, motor behavior and cognitive performance.” When it comes to complex dancing routines, you are more likely able to remember the steps and do the dance properly.  Dancing engages the mind in more activities to keep it fresh and working hard.

4. Dancing has social benefits
Dancing is another great way to share fun moments with someone else.  When you are busy cutting up a rug, you are letting people know you are a fun-loving person who knows how to enjoy life.  Dancing with a partner can boost confidence and allows you an easy way to get to know someone else and start a conversation.

Whether you are good at it or bad at it, dancing is an exceptional way to keep moving.  Signing up for a class, or something as simple keeping a routine at your home is a great way to reap the positive physical and mental benefits of dancing.