Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes – How Dancing Can Benefit Seniors
No matter how old we are, keeping fit is beneficial to our health. Dancing provides a great way to keep us active and moving, and it definitely puts the fun back into fitness.
At The Manor Village, we’ve always been great believers in the positive effects of dance. We’re thrilled to see that the healthcare community is now recognising these benefits for both physical and mental health. Here are jus some of the studies showing that seniors in particular can benefit from dancing, and not just to keep in shape.
Many seniors have problems with balance, from feeling constantly unsteady on their feet to being prone to experiencing a fall. A study by Karger found that dancing, and salsa in particular, could improve their balance and strength. It also found that senior participants in the study were more committed to dancing as a physical activity, with over 92% completing the programme.
Reduce risks of dementia
Studies have shown that seniors can reduce the risk of dementia by dancing. In fact, it is the only physical leisure activity observed by the New England Journal of Medicine study to do so. Experts believe that this is because the mind has to process the different steps provided by the instructor, then translate them into physical movement. As each session involves a different routine, both the mind and body have to be alert, so both receive a good work-out.
We all experience various aches and pains as we get older, and many resign themselves that uncomfortable stiffness is something that inevitably comes with age. However, according to a study by Saint Louis University, this is not necessarily the case. A group of seniors, averaging 80 years old, were found to need less pain medication after completing a course of low-impact dance sessions over 12 weeks. They also found that movements in general were much easier, giving them more independence.
Boost heart function
Symptoms of heart failure, including extreme tiredness and shortness of breath, may put many people off taking part in exercise. However, as long as the illness is stable, dancing can provide heart patients with the low-impact exercise they need to start to improve the function of the heart. Studies have shown that waltzing is particularly effective in helping patients with chronic heart failure, as an alternative to other aerobic exercise!
The mere thought of physical exercise can be daunting if fitness levels are low, particularly if you have health issues or limited mobility. The great thing about dancing is you don’t have to be fit to get started. At The Manor Village, you’ll often find our Residents up and dancing when our guest live entertainers perform. (We’ll encourage them to play more waltzes from now on!) There are so many different styles of dance to enjoy, and our Residents just love the social side of dancing too!
If you’d like to discover more about enjoying life at The Manor Village senior living communities in Canada, call us or email us.
We’ll be glad to gently waltz you around one of our communities in Calgary AB or London ON anytime!