It’s time to start thinking about our New Year’s Eve plans.
But whether you find yourself at a party with old friends… or counting down from home with your loved ones… I challenge you to get up on your feet and ring in ’22 the way we used to.
You know, with some good old-fashioned dancing.
In fact, well after the champagne is put away and the party streamers have been taken down, I encourage you to make dancing a regular part of your routine.
Because dance isn’t just a great way to lift your mood or get a party going. It’s also one of the healthiest habits you can adopt.
And don’t worry. It doesn’t matter if you’re light on your feet or have two left shoes. Because either way, if you make dancing more often your 2022 resolution, you can ring in one pretty incredible benefit.
It’s one those of us who have more than a few New Year’s parties under our belts can really appreciate. Because it turns out, dancing could help prevent future falls.
Stay on your toes with dancing
Even if you never become a twinkle toes, dancing develops your timing and sense of rhythm while promoting balance. That means even if you don’t think you’re particularly “good” at dancing, you’re working on those critical skills.
And that comes in handy both on and off the dance floor. One analysis of 29 clinical trials found that seniors who dance have a 37 percent lower risk of falls.
And it’s likely because of improvements in three vital areas:
- lower body strength
That age-defying combination can help keep you on your toes.
Dancing requires both physical and mental multitasking. In other words, you not only move, but you also have to react to movement. And that includes responding to those unexpected and spontaneous moments that always happen while dancing.
Those same skills can translate into reacting to potential falls more quickly and effectively.
Strength plus balance helps prevent falls
No matter how good it is for helping to prevent falls if you just can’t picture yourself dancing, don’t worry. There are other ways to develop those same skills to help you stay steady on your feet.
Basically, any activity that requires some movement and choreography will do the trick and lead to better balance, mobility, and strength.
The study finds, for example, that tai chi is just as good for improving balance and movement and preventing falls as “pure” dance activities such as folk dancing and ballroom dancing.
They’re also terrific forms of exercise, which can help you build up strength and even drop a few pounds along the way.
And that same daily dose of physical activity won’t just help head of falls, either. When you make room for movement in your day, it will also help reduce your risks for heart disease, diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, and more.
Click here to discover five more ways dancing boosts your health from head to toe.
But keep in mind dancing or other similar activities will only help slash your risk for falls if you’re consistent. You have to do it regularly. In the study, the benefits only went to people who attended at least 80 percent of their scheduled dance classes.
So whatever you choose… from daily dance sessions in your living room to a formal class when they’re available again… just make sure you keep at it.