Dance is one of the best ways to work out as well as deal with stress. While some people make careers out of dance, for the majority of us, dance is a way to exercise and to enjoy ourselves. When we are young, we find it easy to dance. We have time to go out to clubs and other social events and we dance until morning, besides doing other things. But as we age and as we get more responsibilities, those of us who do not make a living out of dance find ourselves dancing less over time until we no longer do it. That is why we get mesmerized at new dance moves and how elegantly the younger generation do it.
But if there are people who need dance more than others, it is the seniors. In our professional life, we find ways to further our careers whether by going back to school, enhancing our skills or putting in the time and effort required. Most of these are at the expense of our free time and our bodies. But as we age and we have more time to ourselves, we can gain holistic wellbeing through dance. This is because it has an impact on various aspects of our health and social well-being as we shall see below.
Dance and exercise
Physical activity is one of the main advantages of dance for seniors’. Dancing is a great type of exercise since it involves mobility. It is a low-impact exercise that is less strenuous on the joints than many other types, making it a great option for seniors with mobility-impairing disorders like arthritis. By raising heart rate and circulation, dancing can also benefit cardiovascular health. Many dance moves are repetitious, which can aid in developing strength and stamina, especially in the legs and core. As such, it is packed with lots of benefits which help to keep seniors not only active, but strengthen their bodies as well.
Dance and social benefits
Dance takes place in a social set up so it also has huge social benefits for seniors. Because dancing is frequently done in groups, it gives seniors a chance to interact with others and socialize. Seniors who could be at risk for social isolation or loneliness should pay special attention to this. The social aspect of dancing can have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. This is why senior activities such as Bingo are usually very popular. They not only keep you busy, but they also allow you to interact with others.
Dance and cognitive health
Dance is good for the cognitive health of seniors. Cognitive decline is a major worry for seniors and that is where dance can help them. Besides just moving the body, dance involves remembering moves. Dancing also demands good balance, memory, and focus, all of which can enhance cognitive performance. The risk of cognitive decline can be lowered by learning new dancing moves and routines, which can also aid to retain cognitive function. As a result, the brain can benefit from mental exercise, and dancing offers a fun and interesting way to achieve this.
Dance and mental health
Seniors can benefit from dance in ways beyond their physical health and wellness. There are many factors that can affect mental health, but dance can help. It has been demonstrated to increase mood and overall emotional wellbeing, as well as lower stress and anxiety. It also helps them to take their mind off whatever is stressing them. As such, dancing can be a powerful kind of therapy for seniors who might be dealing with mental health issues.
Dance and creativity
Music and creativity go hand in hand. Coming up with a dance, dressing for the dance and expressing yourself through dance all require creativity. And as people age, they may feel a loss of identity or a lack of purpose. Dance provides an avenue for creativity as well as self-expression. It allows seniors to express themselves through movement, which can be a liberating and fulfilling experience. Dancing can also be a way to connect with one’s culture or heritage, particularly for those who may have immigrated to a new country. For seniors who may be experiencing a sense of disconnection or loss, dancing can be a way to reconnect with their roots and feel a sense of belonging.
Dance is a great activity for seniors. And it does not need one to be the best or to be like the professional dancers. One just needs to enroll for a class or be part of a dance group and with commitment, will reap the benefits of it, which are many. If you are a senior and want to get health and social benefits of an activity, try dance and you will not regret it. However, do it in moderation and listen to your body. Do not overstretch yourself. And if you have any medical condition, consult your doctor first.