If you’re searching for a new hobby why not consider dancing? Dancing in any form has been found to improve physical and mental health, increase emotional well-being, and help boost social interaction. It’s a vibrant combination of music, people, and fun that is likely to elicit positive emotive responses for just about anyone, and the benefits it can deliver to the elderly are multi-faceted.
Physical health benefits of dancing as you age
As we age the body loses muscle mass, coordination, and balance which makes you more susceptible to falls and injuries during everyday activities. Any style of dance can help you maintain, or even improve muscle strength, balance and endurance. One group of researchers even found that people who engage in social or group dancing experience less pain and physical discomfort.
The positive impact on our health doesn’t stop with the act of dancing. Once you become physically active you are also likely to engage in other healthy behaviour like keeping up with medication, engaging in social activities and eating well.
Social and mental benefits of dancing for senior citizens
Even among the elderly who may suffer poor mental health, dancing can make a difference. Social dancing has been found to improve feelings of positivity, incite calm behaviour, and promote enhanced communication amongst patients with dementia. Participating in dance activity can also improve a sense of well-being, keep you connected to your community and generally more interested in everyday life as you get older.
Cognitive benefits of dancing as you age
Dancing is also an activity that has been found to be especially effective in improving cognitive ability for seniors. Spontaneous dance in particular has been found to deliver cognitive benefits due to its emphasis on improvisation, rather than memorising specific movements. Experts believe that dancing is beneficial for our brains because it combines cardiovascular exercise with split-second decision making and forcing our brains to create new neural pathways and think with more speed and agility. This renewed brain activity can help ward off dementia and keep the mind sharp much longer.
With lifestyle programs that include various dance and musical based activities it is one of many therapeutic activities that helps residents rediscover their vitality. People at all levels of mobility and ability, including those dependent on wheelchairs and walkers, can join in too with their family members and visitors also welcome to participate. Those with dementia and have been shown to respond well to music and rhythmic dances like the tango, which engage the parts of the brain affected by the disease.
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