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Dancing for Seniors

Dancing for seniors and the elderly is a tremendously satisfying activity.

When we were younger, DANCING, was a favourite pastime. My time came after jitterbug and blossomed during rock and roll.  It was also great exercise because it got us off our butts and out socializing and moving our bodies-sometimes very energetically- which stimulates blood circulation, works the heart a little harder, and could keep us trim.

Then older age hit us.

Older does not mean we must stop being active. Activities, like waltzing, are pleasurable, social-unless you dance alone in front of a mirror which I will admit having done so – and are so very beneficial to our overall health.

Best of all, it is not hard to get footloose, just get up and move to the music.

Huge 21-year study about Frequent Dancing for Seniors

“The 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.   The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity.

They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect.  Other activities had none.

They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments.  And they studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.  There was one important exception:  the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

            Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia

            Bicycling and swimming – 0%

            Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week – 47%

            Playing golf – 0%

            Dancing frequently – 76%.”

Dancing for seniors and elderly is Easy Exercise

Dancing for seniors and the elderly is an enjoyable easy exercise that should be part of our weekly schedule. Sadly, for some if not most people, it is not. Recently Read a stat that said only about 11% of adults get enough exercise When we do some easy exercises we are helping our bodies do what they were intended to do-MOVE.  This is great easy exercise!

Exercise may be vital to your health, but many people don’t like the treadmill or going to a gym or playing golf or tennis. They may enjoy doing a jig because it is fun, raises heart-rate, effectively works many muscle groups and so is a healthy, easy exercise “workout”.

Many care homes in the UK, like those elderly care homes in Camberley, and those where there is a focus on activities are utilising dance as way to bring enjoyment and exercise to their residents. From reminiscing about venues and nights out in their youth, they are reliving those moments with the songs they grew up listening to while taking part in an activity that is good for both the body and the soul.

Benefits Abound

Like other moderate, low-impact, weight bearing activities, such as brisk walking, cycling or aerobics, dancing for seniors and elderly can help:

  • strengthen bones and muscles without hurting your joints
  • tone your entire body
  • improve your posture and balance, which can prevent falls
  • increase your stamina and flexibility
  • reduce stress and tension
  • build confidence
  • provide opportunities to meet people, and
  • ward off illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression

Dancing for seniors or elderly has now been shown to be social, fun easy exercise and a terrific activity with huge health benefits. So, get out there and do some!

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