Dancing has been a form of expression, art, culture, and rituals for thousands of years. But did you know dancing is a great way to promote physical and mental health too? Whether you enjoy simpler dances to do in your own home, elegant dances like a ballroom style waltz, or line dances made to get everyone out on the dance floor, there’s an abundance of health benefits that come with dance.
Physical exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy life, especially as we get older. Emotional and mental health are also crucial during this time, as stressors in life may increase or change. For this reason, it’s important to find a way to get exercise and promote mental and emotional health. What better way to do this than with dance!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, dancing can be fun and great for your health. Let’s break down the ways dance benefits health and how you can get started.
Probably the most evident benefits of dancing are its physical benefits such as exercise, balance, and coordination. Let’s break down these benefits and why dancing improves these.
It’s a Form of Exercise
All kinds of dance, from ballroom to breakdance, involve movement and thus raise the heart rate and promote circulation of oxygen through the body. As we age, our heart rate can slow down. We often aren’t able to partake in the same kinds of exercise we once did, so our hearts don’t get as much cardio. However, the American Heart Association recommends maintaining a heart rate of 75 to 128 beats per minute for good health. Dance is a great form of aerobic exercise and cardio for seniors to do!
It Improves Coordination
Many dances have a number of steps to memorize and perform in a row. These steps often require hand-eye and foot-eye coordination to perform, and once you start going faster, coordination gets stronger. Dancing is a great way to improve coordination!
It Improves Balance
As we age, we may lose balance due weakened muscles. In fact, loss of balance is one of the most common causes of falls in older adults and as many as 40% of Americans over 65 live with balance problems. While it can be stressful to worry about falling, there are exercises to promote balance, and dancing is one of them!
Dancing requires both movement and coordination, so it helps promote balance as you move from step to step. Once you become more comfortable with dancing, you can even incorporate spins and larger movements.
If you have impaired balance or are at high-risk for falling, don’t attempt to dance alone and without nearby help. You can also scale dances down to do smaller movements. Once you get more comfortable with moves, you can try more difficult steps.
It’s Low Impact
Many exercises are difficult for older adults because of the impact on joints and muscles. One benefit of dancing is that it’s very low impact. While running is high impact and can cause pain in joints and even injury, dancing is gentle on joints and nearly no-impact so it’s perfect for everyone.
Mental Health Benefits
Along with the many physical benefits of dancing, it also benefits mental health.
Helps Reduce Stress
Just like any stage of life comes with its own stressors and challenges, so does old age. You may deal with the loss of loved ones, having your children move away, physical challenges, or other obstacles that cause stress and worry.
Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the stress response in our bodies. Research has shown that dancing can help lower cortisol levels. Dancing is a great way to release pent up stress and promote relaxation and calm!
For added relaxation and stress relief, try a hemp extract gummy to calm your mind and promote your health and wellness. You can also use a CBD tincture to calm and refresh your mind. Extracted from the cannabis plant, these supplements are an easy way to help promote calm and reduce stress!
When we dance, our bodies release endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good chemicals released by our bodies during exercise and other activities. They are meant to reduce pain and promote pleasure, so during things like exercise and childbirth, endorphins are released by our brains to reduce pain and focus on good feelings instead.
Research shows that dancing releases more endorphins that other forms of exercise. Dancing releases endorphins which cultivates a healthy release of emotions and promotes happiness!
Boosts Cognitive Function
Memory is a large part of dancing. You have to memorize various dance moves, what order they’re in, and how to perform them in a row. As we age, our memories may decline from a health condition or disorder.
Memory loss looks different for everyone, but the most effective ways to treat memory loss may surprise you. Pursuing hobbies and dancing are some of the most popular ways to boost memory and cognitive function and support brain health.
Emotional Health Benefits
Emotional health involves our ability to connect with others, connect with ourselves and our emotions, and communicate with the world around us. Dancing has multiple benefits for emotional health!
It Encourages Socializing
Dancing is often a social activity! Whether you prefer to dance with just one partner, or to attend a dance class where you learn dance moves with other people, it offers an opportunity to connect with others, build relationships, and begin friendships!
Social skills are an important aspect of emotional health. Our ability to understand someone else’s perspective and respond with kindness and patience is largely due to emotional intelligence. Emotional health is also important for work ethic, motivation, and having a positive outlook on life, so by socializing, we can strengthen emotional health.
Dancing is a great way to get the physical exercise we need while getting the socializing and human interaction we need to connect with others and thrive. If you’re not part of a dance class, contact your local recreation center, gym, or dance studio to ask about dance classes. There may even be dance classes at your local senior center.
When we learn a new task, our self-esteem and confidence increase. When you’re learning dance moves, you may struggle at first, but this is normal. Once you practice and are able to see your progress, your confidence will increase!
Confidence and self-esteem are a vital factor for mental and emotional health. These characteristics are important for those of any age, but especially for seniors. Dancing is a great way to boost confidence and promote self-esteem for older adults.
Offers a Creative Outlet
Creativity isn’t only associated with painting or making art by hand. It involves any activity that allows you to express yourself freely! Dancing is a great outlet for creativity and expression as you can integrate whatever moves you’d like, make your own dances, and move to your body’s rhythm. This helps your body let loose and be creative.
How to Start Dancing
Dancing has an abundance of benefits, so here are some tips to help you reap these benefits and improve your health!
1. Pick a Style
From ballroom dancing to breakdancing to choreographed group dances, there is a dance style for everyone! A great way to pick a dance style is to find videos of different styles and see which one you like the most.
2. Join a Group
Joining a dance class or group is a great way to have added support while you learn how to dance. You’ll also have an instructor there to help you master the moves, and to help you perform them with correct form to prevent injuries or falling. Joining a dance class also helps you socialize, which is important for increasing emotional intelligence.
3. Start Grooving
The last step is to start grooving. Simply turn on your favorite songs and start dancing!
Tips for Dancing
If you experience joint pain or limited range of motion, consider using a hemp extract relief salve to soothe tension and pain in joints and promote mobility and muscle loosening.
If you live with incontinence, you may be concerned about leaking during dance movements or classes. But don’t worry. With our maximum protection incontinence underwear and premium pads and boosters, you can stay fresh and dry for the whole class and dance worry-free!
Dancing is not only a fun activity to enjoy by yourself or with those you love, but it offers a realm of health benefits. It promotes heart health and physical health by encouraging movement and aerobic exercise, it promotes mental health by reducing stress and allowing for a creative outlet, and it supports emotional health by boosting confidence, creativity, and supporting socialization and community.
Plus, with our soothing hemp-extract creams and protective underwear, you can enjoy dancing no matter what. Whether you’re new to dancing or have been dancing for years, there’s no better time to start than now! Grab your dancing shoes and get grooving.