July 28th is National Dance Day! Established in 2010 by Dizzy Feet Foundation, National Dance Day is a celebration dedicated to encouraging Americans of all ages to enjoy dance. Seniors especially can enjoy the many health benefits of adding dance to their daily routine. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that seniors that participated in dance had more aerobic endurance, lower body muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and improved gait. This study suggests that seniors that dance have a lower prevalence of falls and improved cardiovascular health.
Seniors can incorporate dance as both social activity and exercise in the following ways:
Couples Dancing. Enjoying exercise as a couple by taking a class or joining a club at your local senior center. Seniors can learn a variety of dances such as tango, salsa, waltz or swing.
Barre Class. Barre is a dance inspired workout that can be adapted to any activity level. Stretching and strength training are the fundamental features of this exercise routine.
Dancing with a disability. Dancing is for everyone and can be adapted to any activity level! Seniors in wheelchairs can enjoy wheelchair dancing, which is traditional style dancing adapted to wheelchair accessible moves. Check out the American DanceWheels Foundation for more information on a local DanceWheels program!