Dancing keeps you young – young of heart and young of body. It keeps you fit and socially active. Moving to music stimulates your senses: sight, sound and touch, invigorating every cell in your body as you float, jump, step, skip or sway your way across the dance floor.
As age increases so do a series of health risks, but dancing can help:
Cardiovascular Disease: is caused by a build-up of atheroma, which are fatty lumps that develop within the inside lining of arteries (blood vessels), and can cause heart attack or stroke. People who are physically active have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases compared with inactive people. The Australian heart foundation agrees that dance is a great way to get active. It’s never too late to start nor reap the benefits!
Diabetes: Your risk for developing type 2 diabetes also increases with age. This may be linked to the fact that as people age they tend to exercise less, which means you may lose muscle and gain weight. So stay active! Try something new that excites you, maybe you’ve never considered dancing, or you’re a dancer out to try some new tricks. Hit the dance floor, it just might be your cure!
High Blood Pressure: Anyone can develop high blood pressure; however age, weight and lifestyle habits are among the contributors. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure. There's no ‘cure’ for high blood pressure, but incorporating healthy lifestyle choices such as dance into your life can prevent or help manage it. Furthermore, it can also reverse prehypertension (the warning sign that you may get high blood pressure in the future). Beat high blood pressure before it beats you.
Osteoporosis: A common disease that affects over a million Australians, osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle leading to a higher risk of bone breakages. To best improve bone strength, exercises should be weight bearing (exercise done on your feet so that you bear down on your weight), performed regularly, and incorporate balance. Although balance doesn’t directly improve bone or muscle strength, it can reduce the risk of falling, which is a common cause of fractures. So dance your way to better balance and improved bone density.
Dancing is great for body and mind, by exercising you improve circulation and oxygen to the brain, and remembering the complex steps stimulates the working memory. Dance can bring a sense of fun and freedom to an oftentimes-stressful existence, don’t wait until it’s ‘too late’ - start young, stay young!
Note: Dancing is exercise, and like any form of exercise, it can help maintain a healthy body and mind. However, if you do have exercise questions related to any medical issues, it is, as always, best to have a chat to your GP before undertaking any form of strenuous exercise.
Healthy and fit and want to make sure you stay that way? Start with a free dance class to see what dancing is all about.