Exercise plays an important role in optimizing mental and physical health and this is especially so as we age. As such, we need to find an exercise that we absolutely enjoy and can continue to engage in in our later years. A great aerobic exercise for older adults is dance – dancing comes with many great health benefits. There are many different forms of dance too, some of which can be done alone and others with a partner or in group. Here are several of the most important health benefits of dance for people in their golden years.
Dancing Provides a Great Cardio Workout
Any type of dance will raise the heart rate and increase the circulation of oxygen through the system, which is important for overall health. According to the American Heart Association, people aged 70 and above should aim for a target heart rate of 75 to 128 beats per minute. However, as age increases, your target may become lower and depends on some health factors. Do consult a doctor to find out your optimum level of cardiovascular activity.
Dancing Improves Balance
What is more and more important as one ages is having good balance, as it helps a person to continue being mobile and prevent the risk of falls. Dancing usually requires us to transfer our body weight between our feet, and sometimes, we need to perform actions on tip-toe or on one foot. A good instructor will start with a slow pace to suit a senior. However, it surprises many dance students to find out that they can actually improve their balance with practice.
Dancing Improves Flexibility
You don’t have to be able to do a grand battement — a ballerina’s term for kicking your leg up to your head — to improve in flexibility through dance. By gently moving your body in different ways, you can have more flexible joints and muscles which will help improve your physical mobility as you age.
Dancing Challenges Your Mind and Memory
Not everyone thinks of dance as related to memory care, but memorizing steps is a great mental exercise. In the New England Journal of Medicine, a study found out that dancing can decrease the effects of dementia, so dance is suitable for people with memory issues. In fact, even those who are struggling with memory loss may develop “muscle memory” whereby their body remembers music and movement in an extraordinary way.
Dancing Creates Social Opportunities
Dance classes are a good way to spend time with friends and meet new people. You might find a class in a senior living community where you live or go to a gym or a studio. Even in times of social distancing, dancing as part of a class online or with a friend over video chat can be a fun way to spend time together. With opportunities for socialization, older adults are less likely to feel lonely and isolated, and therefore are less prone to anxiety and depression.
Join a Dance Class at TerraBella Windsor Lake
At TerraBella Windsor Lake, our residents enjoy a carefree senior lifestyle that takes the stress out of everyday living. You can choose to participate and be actively involved in any number of activities and events planned for our residents. And yes! Dance classes are one of the most popular activities among our residents. If you would like to find out more about our senior living programs, get in touch with us today!