Dance is one of the purest forms of human expression. Historians tell us we’ve been dancing for at least 42,000 years, and we aren’t going to stop any time soon. And with good reason! For older adults especially, dancing can have health benefits that you would not believe. Here are just three of the ways that dancing can have you feeling younger, happier, and more wholesome.
1. Dancing helps you stave off dementia.
It may surprise you to learn just how many neurological advantages are associated with dancing. Even for the less coordinated among us, the combination of physical movement and the planning involved in choreography stretches our mental muscles in a way few activities can. As AgingCare.com puts it when citing a well-respected scientific study, dancing helps us fight dementia because, “it combines cardiovascular exercise with split-second decision making that taxes our neural network, forcing it to create new pathways.”
2. You cheer up with every pirouette.
As we have written before, depression is a major struggle for older adults. There are many ways to treat the symptoms of depression, but you may be surprised to learn that dancing is among them. According to the Daily Mail, South American researchers have found a strong correlation between dancing and fading signs of depression. Their research has been largely corroborated by researchers at Columbia University and the National Institutes of Health.
3. Dance the pain away.
The Aging Care article we cited above refers to a St. Louis University study that tracked the effects of dancing on the pain levels of seniors. The results were fairly striking. According to the study, “Participants who danced reported that they reduced their consumption of pain medicine by 39 percent and those who didn’t dance said they took 21 percent more pain medicine.” The author of the study, Dr. Jean Krampe, Ph.D., even said, “Those in the dance group talked about how much they loved it.”
The benefits are simply too many to ignore. If you want to feel better mentally and physically, dust off those dancing shoes! You won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.