Contributed by Paige Hessel
The two previous posts have focused on more traditional methods of exercise and so I thought it would be fun to focus on another way to move; dancing! Dancing is a wonderful way to stay active and social. Whether you go with your significant other or on your own, dancing is a fabulous way to stay connected! I have recently seen several videos of senior ladies tangoing and I am amazed and inspired by them. Here is a link to my favorite one; https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryancreed/92-year-old-woman-dancing-the-tango-is-everything?utm_term=.yhGVlLjJY#.tkmp17LXG
I read an abstract of a 21 year study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY and it illustrates that a higher level of participation in “leisure activities”, such as card games, board games, golfing and dancing can result in a significantly reduced risk of developing dementia. That’s a pretty wonderful side effect of moving your body and having fun!
I can recall my parents having lots of parties throughout the years and invariably the living room rug got rolled back and records were stacked on the turn table and I watched grownups dancing in such a way that I rolled my eyes and giggled and said to my girlfriend “I would NEVER do that, so embarrassing!”
Well guess what? Now I am the one to roll back the rug and put some great music on shuffle and dance the night away with my friends. There is no shame in cutting loose and letting your body feel the music. Bringing music into our lives helps to foster a better mood and finding your sense of rhythm helps with ambulation and balance.
There are classes you can take if you want a more structured experience, but I always just loved to go to a club with a live band and dance with my friends. It’s really all about what you are most comfortable doing, but don’t hesitate to try something new.
Don’t forget that dance IS exercise and you still need to pay attention to things like proper footwear and stretching. It’s easy to get lost in the music and before you know it, you’ve been dancing all night. Trust me, you’ll feel it the next day! So be sure to prepare your body for the fun it’s about to have!