Dancing has physical and emotional benefits

Dance Is An Enjoyable Way For You Or Your Senior Loved One Have Better Physical And Emotional Health

professional Pegasus caregiver in Agoura Hills and elsewhere knows how important movement is for staying healthy. We also know that not everyone has the time, ability, or desire to exercise. That’s why we suggest using dance for better physical and emotional health.

You and your senior loved one may think of dancing as a fun activity. It is, of course, but dance offers health benefits as well. Moving to music releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that contribute to overall well-being.

Anyone can dance. Individuals don’t need to leave their home. They don’t need special equipment. 

Although generally thought of as a social activity, dancing can be enjoyed alone. Disabled individuals can move to music even when they can’t get out their chair or bed. Although various forms of dance have specified steps, you can benefit by letting your body choose how to move.

Emotionally traumatized individuals may benefit from formal dance movement therapy (DMT). Movement is a language that can be understood by a trained therapist. Specific movements are then designed that help release the trauma.

Dancing Can Reduce The Risk Of Dementia

What may be of most interest to your loved one is the effect that dancing can have on dementia. A long-term study showed that regular dancing significantly reduced the risk of dementia. The researchers attribute that to quick decisions that stimulate the brain.

Researchers in another study concluded that dancing may actually change brain chemistry. Individuals have different dance patterns, and partners have to master keeping up with them. They also have to learn and remember the steps.

Combined with social interactions, the concentration required to dance generally has a positive effect on the brain. The fact that it’s enjoyable also helps keep brains healthy.

Cardiovascular Health Leads The List Of Physical Health Benefits

The physical benefits provided by dancing are well documented. For most people, getting on the dance floor incorporates more than one ability. It requires mind-body coordination.

Dancing is also a way of maintaining or increasing physical fitness. Improved cardiovascular health leads the list of benefits. Regular dancing also leads to improvements in:

  • Aerobic fitness, which is the body’s ability to transport and use oxygen
  • Bone strength, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis
  • Coordination
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Weight management

Fitness classes that include dancing are available, or you can put on some music and do your own thing.

Individuals with arthritis or other joint pain often obtain relief when they dance. The movement decreases stiffness and increases their range of motion. Their independence improves and some are able to reduce the dosage of their pain medications.

Studies have shown that dance therapy improved the quality of life for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Individuals experienced improvement in their balance, gait, and endurance. One study showed the greatest benefit for Parkinson’s in those who learned to tango.

Dancing Can Reduce Falls And The Resulting Injuries

Many seniors are at high risk of falling. Dancing increases:

  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Flexibility
  • Muscle tone
  • Strength

In doing so, it reduces the risk of falling and the risk of injury if a fall occurs.

Dance Away Your Stress

Aside from the physical benefits of dance, movement benefits emotional and mental health. It’s been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. You become familiar with emotions you may not have previously recognized.

Dancing can help relieve stress. It’s a safe way to release pent-up feelings. As well as connecting with yourself, dancing enables you to connect with others.

Participating in a group offers an opportunity to socialize and forget your troubles. Your brain becomes more able to think creatively. Ideas and solutions pop into your mind.

As a family caregiver, you may be struggling to keep up with everything. You may experience insomnia, making you even more tired. Fatigue often leads to depression and stress.

Any exercise works to energize you. Everyone is different, but many find dancing to be a physical exercise they can stick to. They don’t get bored from repetition, they have fun, and it is inexpensive if not free.

Conventional styles of dancing include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Ballet – requires strength and technique
  • Ballroom – requires a partner
  • Jazz- requires high energy
  • Salsa – requires rhythmic movement
  • Square dance – requires a partner and good hearing
  • Tap – requires timing

Choosing one style over another depends on your ability as well as the benefit you want to gain.

For example, are you choosing dance for fitness? Or you are trying to relieve stress? Or is dance a social activity or a new way to meet people?

A bonus of dancing is the fact that you and your senior loved one can enjoy it together. Age, gender, or mobility doesn’t matter. Dance offers something for everyone.

Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our caregiver services in Agoura Hills and our other locations are customized to meet the needs of your loved one. Our professionals may not take you out dancing, but we can transport you to a dance class.