Just because someone is in their golden years, it shouldn’t stop them from staying active and getting some exercise in. Senior dance classes are growing more popular across the country and it’s easy to see why. Not only are aging exercise and dance classes lots of fun, they provide elder adults with age-appropriate activities and moves that get them moving.
Benefits of dance classes for elders includes increased strength, more flexibility and improved cardiovascular health. It also helps them develop better balance and coordination, which reduces the risk of falls. Elderly dance classes are not only for experienced dancers, but for people of all abilities. Family caregivers can help their elder loved ones find dance classes at the local senior citizen’s center, community center or similar elder care organization.
Among the most popular types of dance classes are salsa, ballroom dance, jazzercize, chair aerobics, square dancing, low-impact Zumba and even ballet (barre exercises). Another popular dance class is water dancing, where dance moves are done in a swimming pool. No matter what style of dance an elderly person is attracted to, the upbeat music, social interaction and activity combine to provide a very enjoyable time.
So why would elders need dance classes anyhow? With age, the body develops stiffness in the joints and muscles. It becomes harder to move, so many seniors simply stop being as active as they once were. Chronic illness, injury, disease and other health issues can also interfere with an elderly person’s regular exercise plan. Dancing is a safe and interesting physical activity for elders that can be done at varying levels of health.
Senior dance classes may also contribute to positive pain management. With increased circulation and muscle activity, elder adults with chronic pain often feel better with regular exercise. Dance classes offer more motivation to get up and get active than things like walking, biking or swimming. The better they move around the home, the more independent they can be. When combined with a healthy diet, plenty of water, medical treatment and proper elder care, many seniors discover that they don’t need to take as many pain relievers.
There’s no doubt that dance classes can help elder adults physically, but it can also improve mental health. Numerous studies show that physical activity can reduce depression and anxiety, and dancing is no exception. With increased activity levels, seniors can also reduce the effects of stress on the body and get a better night’s sleep. Some studies even show that increased physical activity such as dancing can even reduce the risks of developing dementia, or at least postponing it. Learning new dance moves and interacting with others creates new neural pathways in the brain and helps keep elderly adults sharper.
The best part about dance classes for elders is that just about anyone can participate. Dancing doesn’t stop someone with any number of health issues like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, asthma, and more. As long as a doctor approves dancing for their elder patients, there’s nothing stopping them from signing up and dancing for health and for fun.