The Benefits of Dancing for Seniors
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”
Music by itself is uplifting. And yes, swaying, stamping and twirling are fun. But it’s only when you put them together that the magic happens.
Literally since the dawn of time, humans have been expressing themselves through dance. Even before there was written language, celebratory and ritual dances significantly contributed to the development of civilization.
In contemporary medicine, dance is well regarded as a therapy modality for a wide variety of conditions from PTSD, depression, and eating disorders.
But it’s the most recent research that confirms dance may be much more than just a way to connect with our emotions and impact behavior. In fact, it may be a secret, untapped fountain of youth, a powerful tool to fight the aging battle. Little did Ponce de Leon know it was right there all the time!
The results of a study by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, showed that while physical exercise, specifically endurance training, will help reverse the aging of the brain, it was only dancing that “lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.”
The study included volunteers with an average age of 68. Participants were divided into two groups. One group spent 18 months in a traditional training program that included repetitive exercises such as cycling or walking. The other group pursued a dance regimen that was constantly changing, challenging them with new patterns, rhythms, steps and routines every couple of weeks. The dance group displayed a significant increase in balance. Experts attribute the disparity in results to the combination of physical and mental rigor involved in the dance workout.
Keeping your brain active is certainly a dance benefit, but there are so many other reasons to get up and shake your booty!
Dance Your Heart Out
Dancing will also help improve your cardiovascular health while positively impacting posture, motor skills and reaction times.
Cutting a rug can help support strength and muscle function to protect seniors from injury.
Ease the Pain
One group of statistics shows that seniors engaged in social or group dancing experience less pain.
Dance is an Attitude
Those who dance and keep it moving are more likely to engage in other healthy behaviors such as keeping up with medications and eating a healthy diet.
It Takes Two to Tango
Dance is a great social outlet, an opportunity to connect with peers and develop new and meaningful relationships.
So, shall we dance? The answer should be a definitive yes! Turn on the music, grab a partner and feel the beat as you enhance your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. We’ve all got the music in us. Find out more about how Overture's active adult communities support healthy lifestyles for all their residents.
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”