While the physical benefits seem obvious, dancing can enhance your overall health in multiple ways, such as improved mobility and balance. However, for dancers, the good things keep rolling because research also suggests it boosts mental and emotional wellness.
Read on for the ways dancing can improve your health and how you can take part right here in Sun City.
Common issues of aging, including arthritis pain, fatigue and mobility issues, can make it hard to get up and exercise regularly. However, medical studies have proven that movement can help seniors reduce many of these ailments.
If hitting the gym doesn't sound appealing, then finding a dance floor may be the ideal solution. There are numerous dance varieties, including ballroom, ballet, folk and line dancing, set to just as many types of music, ensuring you can tailor the experience to your personal taste. Dancing takes shape in multiple forms, with solo, pair and group options, making it a fun social activity to participate in with your friends.
Accessibility in dance reaches beyond skill level, ensuring older adults with mobility issues can join in through wheelchair and para-sports as easily as novices and veterans of the dance scene.
Like any exercise, dancing helps seniors manage their weight, improve their energy levels and maintain muscle strength. Studies also linked regular physical activity to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and insomnia.
In the crowd of exercise options, dancing stands out for its added bonuses, such as increased balance, flexibility and coordination. These benefits make it a wonderful addition to a senior's fall prevention strategies and may help protect their health in the long term by increasing their chances of avoiding a dangerous fall.
Despite its title as a leisure activity, the mental effort required during dancing helps seniors stretch their neural pathways and reduce their risk of dementia. The effort increases mental wellness and improves memory, response times and hand-eye coordination.
In fact, one study by the New England Journal of Medicine noted that regular social dancing reduces the risk of dementia by as much as 76%.
Researchers using brain scans to measure mental activity have shown a connection between dance and improved cognitive health. Dancing, with its rhythmic movement, causes older adults to be mindful of their hands and feet in a way that stimulates the brain and exercises it along with the rest of their bodies.
Dancing is an attractive way to exercise, but it also can be a great way to unwind and reduce stress. Physical activities decrease stress hormone production and trigger the release of endorphins and chemicals that act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers.
Stress hormone reduction also decreases feelings of depression and anxiety, which can help seniors experiencing worry and negative thinking. Memorizing and accomplishing dance steps can provide satisfaction and improve self-esteem.
Listening to music and interacting with others may also help enhance mood, offering dancers a trio of benefits. Because social dancing is a great way to meet up with friends or make new ones, it's a popular activity choice at many senior centers and recreational events for older adults.
Sun City is overflowing with opportunities to dance. Its Clubs & Activities Office hosts multiple dance clubs through the Recreation Centers of Sun City, including one designed specifically for exercising.
The Sundial Center is a 5-minute drive from our Sun City independent living community, and it serves as the meeting ground for four senior dance clubs, including line dancing and a Friday night social.
Just 7 minutes from Sun Valley Lodge, the Bell Center has three dance clubs for seniors. Also, within a 10-minute drive, the Marinette Recreational Center offers tap dancing classes to older adults and a pom cheerleading squad for interested ladies aged 55 and over.
The variety of dances available ensures both novices and long-time dancers can always find a new pastime to try out. Besides the dance studios offering lessons here in Sun City, there are many online resources seniors can tap into for guidance.
Books about dancing and dance exercise videos are also excellent resources for learning dance, so our residents may wish to visit one of the six public libraries located nearby.
Another option is to ask around the community and put together a group of your peers who are also interested in taking up dance. Learning as a group can add to the fun and help individuals stay motivated to keep trying new steps.
Your medical provider and the staff here at Sun Valley Lodge can also help you by offering advice on the best ways to enjoy dancing safely. Ask today to get started moving and grooving your way to better health.