Dancing is an easy and fun way to do physical activity, an activity that practiced with measure and safety can be a very suitable exercise for the elderly.In addition, going to dance forces us to get ready, leave home and contact other people with the improvement of the mood that this entails.
Benefits of dancing for the mind
Dancing brings many mental benefits , both in the psychological and physiological aspects :
- It reduces stress and moves away depression. It makes us feel more happy.
- It helps to exercise memory, attention and, if danced as a couple, forces to coordinate movements with those of another person.
- Strengthens self-esteem and self-confidence, helps overcome shyness and removes loneliness.
In addition, in the case of people suffering from arthritis, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s, it seems that dancing helps them to stimulate physical and mental abilities.
Benefits of dancing for the body
Dancing brings multiple benefits to the body but, unlike what happens with other physical activities, we do not seem to be doing “sport” (a word that scares many people):
- Strengthens the muscles, especially the legs, hips and, depending on the dance, the arms.
- Increase flexibility and endurance.
- Improves coordination and balance, so it helps prevent falls in older people.
- It helps maintain weight, control blood pressure, alleviate joint pain and prevent osteoporosis.
- It keeps our brain more irrigated, which helps prevent cognitive decline.
- It benefits our cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
- Dance at the Santa María del Tura Residence in Olot
- Dance for San Juan, in the Santa María del Tura Residence in Olot.
The most suitable dances
Nowadays, thanks to associations of the elderly, centers, day centers, active aging programs, etc., the elderly have access to a wide variety of dances. Some examples could be:
Ballroom dancing . This type of dances usually have simple and repetitive movements, which reduce the risk of falling. You have to keep in mind that you have to dance as a couple, although if you do not have it, there will probably be other people who will be in the same situation and it will be a good opportunity to make a new friendship. If you want to practice ballroom dancing but you do not want to do it as a couple, a good option is the online ballroom dancing, in which you dance individually.
Country . There are different types of country dances and with different levels of difficulty, so if we decide to try this type of dance it may be convenient to start at the simplest level. It is a type of activity in which you have to use a lot of your brain to count steps and coordinate with music and usually it is not necessary to have a partner to practice it.
Any other dance may be appropriate, taking into account your own preferences and limitations. In any case it is important to listen to the body and stop if you feel any pain or feel very tired. An idea of the level of effort that can be considered healthy would be that a conversation can be held while we dance.
Some recommendations when dancing
As in the case of other physical activities it would be convenient to wear comfortable and wide clothes that allow a good blood circulation, watch that we do not go cold or hot, wear comfortable shoes and that they do not slip and hydrate properly.
Finally, it would be convenient to do this type of physical activity 3 or more times per week, a minimum of 30 minutes (although it is recommended to exercise 5 times a week). However, we must bear in mind that before starting a new physical activity it is advisable to go to the doctor.