Remember your dancing days? You could cut a rug all night long and then come back for more the next night.
Well, my friend, times may have changed. And dancing until dawn might be out of the question at your age.
But don’t let that stop you from working on your steps. Because dancing is a great way to keep you on your feet, active, and feeling like your younger self again.
But that’s not all. A new study reveals an even bigger… better… and more important benefit for anyone over the age of 65.
Dancing can dramatically cut your risk of falls, saving you from a leading cause of pain, injury, disability, and in some cases, even death. And you don’t have to be a twinkle toes type to benefit.
So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to hit the floor while I let you in on the latest toe-tapping science for seniors.
Dancing can help keep you on your toes
Dancing takes timing, rhythm, and balance. Even if you don’t think you’re particularly “good” at dancing… if you’re the “two left feet” type… you’re STILL putting those skills into action with every step.
And that pays off big even when you’re NOT on the dance floor. A new analysis of 29 clinical trials finds that older folks who dance have a 37 percent reduction in fall risk.
Experts say that’s likely because dancing leads to improvements in three core areas:
- lower body strength
But the most important factor isn’t just ONE of those things. It’s the combination.
Dancing requires both physical and mental multitasking, where you have to not only move but also react. And that includes responding to those unexpected and spontaneous moments that always happen while dancing.
Those skills can translate into reacting to fall risks more quickly and effectively.
Build strength and balance to help prevent falls
But it’s not just dancing that brings the benefits. Just about any activity that requires some degree of movement and choreography will pay off with better balance, mobility, and strength.
The new 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 all also terrific forms of exercise, which can help ensure you keep your strength and even lose some weight along the way. And that same daily dose of physical activity can also help reduce your risks for heart disease, diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, and more.
Click here to learn five more ways dancing boosts your health from head to toe.
There’s just one “catch.” It only works if you not only do it but do it often. In the new study, the benefits only went to people who went to 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.
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