We're repeatedly reminded of the physical and cognitive benefits of exercise. In response to the Keep Moving Rule, we jog, walk, and... just maybe... step away from the computer and/or the couch a few more times a day in an effort to "get the job done."
Maybe it's time to rev up your expectations by adding music and one or more partners to your exercise routine. Maybe it's time to dance!
Though researchers are just beginning to seriously study the relationship between dance and healthy aging, limited evidence suggests that dance can contribute to significant improvements in aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, agility, and gait (Journal of Aging and Physical Activity). Participants in a recent partnered dance study and research at the University of Missouri echo these assumptions.
More definitively, research at the Einstein School of Medicine in New York concluded that frequent dancing is the ONLY physical activity demonstrated to prevent dementia.
In addition, a 2015 Australian study concluded that ballet provides positive physical, social, cognitive and emotional benefits for people with Parkinson's disease. To learn more, register for the University of Wisconsin-Madison'sSummer Institute on Mental Disorders and the Older Adults in July.
While we're waiting for more research, don't allow the its lack to keep you from experiencing the joy that can be found through dance. Your body and your soul know when you're doing something good for you!
PS: Think you can't dance? Check out these sites below; you'll be pleasantly surprised :-).