- Feel happier and less stressed: A group of Australian researchers found that men and women with mood disorders who participated in a two-week tango instruction program felt less depressed, and experienced significant reductions in their levels of stress, anxiety and insomnia.
- Build up your strength: A few weeks of salsa dance classes can seriously increase an older adult's strength and balance, according to a study published in the journal Gerontology. "Salsa proved to be a safe and feasible exercise program for older adults," say study authors. They also noted the high adherence rate of the program—over 92 percent of the seniors who started ended up completing the eight-week salsa dancing regimen.
- Dance away that hip and knee pain: Older adults with knee and hip discomfort may be able to swap their pain medications for dancing shoes, a Saint Louis University (SLU) study recently concluded. After engaging in a 12-week, low-impact dance program, participants with an average age of 80 years old were able to decrease the amount of pain medication they were taking by 39 percent. They were also able to move around more easily—a key determinant in remaining independent. "Walking just a little more rapidly can make enough of a difference for a person to get across the street more quickly or get to the bathroom faster, which keeps them functional and independent," says study author Jean Krampe, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing at SLU.
- Put your heart into it: People with stable chronic heart failure may derive the same aerobic health advantages from learning how to waltz as they would from more traditional forms of cardiovascular exercise, such as cycling or walking, says a study published in the journal Circulation.
- Defend against dementia: When compared to other leisure activities (e.g. playing golf, doing crosswords, reading, cycling, etc.) dancing appears to offer the best chance of helping stave off dementia. According to a 21-year study led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, aging adults who danced regularly had a 76 percent reduced risk for developing dementia. Unlike many other physical activities, dancing also involves significant mental effort and social interaction, forcing your brain to create new pathways.
So, if you were thinking about taking tango or ballroom dancing lessons, now is the time to sign up!
You can find more resources on our website: Herndon-248.comfortkeepers.com. Or call 703-435-2500, we are available 24/7.
Toni Reinhart, Comfort Keepers