Dance Your Way to Better Health
Start Making Plans for When Life is Back to Normal
Numerous studies have shown that dancing is great for weight management, joint flexibility and stress levels. But did you know about these other benefits of getting your wiggle on?
Salsa your way to a better memory
‘Step to the left, twirl, leap, bend…’ Dancing forces your brain to concentrate, focus and remember. By learning a series of steps, remembering the sequence and keeping in time with the music, a lot of cognitive manipulation is required while the dance is going on. Aerobic activity can actually reverse volume loss in your hippocampus – the part of your brain that controls memory. In fact, research has shown that simply one salsa class can improve your memory by up to 18%!*
Waltz your way to a healthy heart
Exercise is great for cardiovascular health, but waltzing has been shown to be particularly effective in mending a broken heart. An Italian study found that this controlled, quick dance helped improve heart health, breathing, sleeping and quality of life significantly compared to those who biked or walked on a treadmill for exercise.
Ballet your way to looser joints
If you struggle with joint stiffness, a gentle dance or beginners class may help improve your joint comfort. Try an adult ballet class – this style requires you to move your joints through a full range of motions. Continual practise of ballet can help you move more easily. Plus, at beginner stage it is quite a slow dance, enabling you to have full control of all your movements.
Tango your way to improved balance
A natural sign of ageing is becoming more unsteady. However, a regular whirl on the dancefloor can help you balance and gain better control of your body, as dancing requires lots of movement and a good posture. Ease your worries by taking up the tango – research has shown that this form of dancing can improve balance in ageing adults.
The benefits don’t end there – dancing can build up your stamina, keep your bones healthy and most importantly, it can lift your mood.
People are much more likely to stick to an exercise programme if they enjoy it. With so many styles of dancing out there, you’re bound to find one that you love.
Check out the Let’s Learn Dance Section to see which classes or clubs might be near you!
This article appeared in the July 2019 Health 2000 magazine.