Participating in physical activity becomes increasingly important in the golden years, but some seniors prefer to avoid traditional exercise at all costs. Dancing is a wonderful alternative because it provides seniors with many of the same benefits as other exercises while encouraging them to have fun. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care in Naples, discusses some of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits your elderly loved one can gain from dancing.
Better Balance and Other Physical Benefits
Seniors who participate in dancing tend to have better balance control than those who do not dance. Those who dance often take longer strides, walk with a normal gait, have better posture, and have increased lower body strength, which may reduce the risk of falls. Seniors who dance also exhibit a higher level of “balance confidence,” meaning they are more secure in their level of stability and are less afraid of falling.
Low-impact dancing also offers other physical benefits similar to those gained from aerobics or a brisk walk, including:
- Greater stamina
- Increased bone density and a reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Weight loss, lowering the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease
Dancing requires seniors to memorize movements and routines, which encourages the use of short-term memory. Over time and with repetition, the actions can become cemented in your loved one’s long-term memory and become a part of his or her normal movement patterns. For example, a 2010 study in Sweden showed long-term amateur dancers had better motor behavior, reaction times, and cognitive skills than nondancers.
Dancing can help your loved one prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. Regardless of whether your loved one prefers country line dancing or traditional ballroom dancing, these activities encourage fun and interaction between two or more people. There are also no winners or losers, and dances can be customized to suit your loved one’s unique personality and abilities.
Dancing is known to reduce levels of stress and tension, which can combat anxiety and depression. Your loved one is less likely to focus on personal problems when listening to great music and twirling around the dance floor. The physical activity and light-hearted fun of dancing also triggers the release of the neurotransmitters that naturally boost mood.
To learn more about fun activities that can promote your loved one’s overall health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with physical activity, provide transportation, and help with many other tasks, and we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care Naples seniors can count on. For more information and to request a no-obligation consultation, please call one of our friendly Client Care Managers at (239) 449-4701.