More and more older Americans are turning to dancing for exercise, seeing it as an enjoyable way for them to become more active without feeling like they’re doing work.
- Dancing doesn’t feel like exercise – One reason dancing is successful is because most people don’t think of it as exercise, even though dancing actually moves more parts of the body than walking.
- Dancing=stretching – Even if you flub a few steps, it’s still fun and great for stretching the midsection, and it will increase flexibility, balance, and coordination. It can also boost muscle power in legs and even strengthen bones, because dancing is a weight-bearing exercise.
- Dancing can protect against dementia and diabetes – A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that teaching the cha-cha to a small group of older adults twice a week for six months was enough to improve their memory and cognitive function on a number of tests. Dancing can also help those with Type 2 diabetes lower their blood pressure and control their weight.
- Social dancing – Camaraderie, enjoyment, and laughter during dance classes can help participants become more physically active and, in the process, improve health.
- Low impact, high benefits – Even for those who are already
active, dancing provides benefits without the wear and tear that other forms of
exercise can cause. Dancing is easy on the joints and can open and elongate the