4 benefits to taking up ballroom dancing as a senior

November 3, 2015

Regular exercise is important to staying healthy, regardless of your age. If you’re a senior, ballroom dancing is a great way to get fit and socialize. Here we discuss its benefits and provide tips on getting started.

4 benefits to taking up ballroom dancing as a senior

The Canadian government recommends that seniors take part in at least two and a half hours of moderate to strenuous activity every week. Doing so can improve balance, reduce injuries and falls, and promote independence.

1. Easy to do

Ballroom dancing is an excellent option for seniors looking for a way to get that weekly exercise. It’s a simple and cheap activity that’s easy to do — all you need is enough space and some toe-tapping music.

2. A great way to socialize

However, a local class will be more sociable and could introduce you to new dance styles and steps. For many people, the social aspect is as important as the dancing itself. If you're single, you can meet new friends; if you're married, you can enjoy the activity with your spouse.

3. Mental stimulation

Dancing is also mentally stimulating. Remembering sequences of steps can help keep your memory active and could even help ward off some of the symptoms of dementia.

4. Health benefits

Ballroom dancing can lead to a healthier heart and lungs, stronger muscles and bones, and improved flexibility and agility. It can also boost energy and confidence.

In addition, exercise in general is known to have a range of health benefits:

  • Exercise can help prevent diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and osteoporosis
  • Many studies have also shown that physical activity and strength training can be a key factor in improving gait and stopping or reducing falls in seniors, all of which present a real threat to their physical and mental well-being
  • Some evidence also suggests that exercise can improve the balance of those with Parkinson's disease

How to get started

These tips will help you get started if you’re looking to take up ballroom dancing:

  • If you don't feel like attending on your own, get someone else to go along with you
  • Don't be put off if the first class doesn't seem quite right. Persevere!
  • Wear comfortable clothes in which you can move freely and sensible shoes
  • Take off any jewellery that could get caught in your clothing or scratch you or someone else
  • Don't worry if you are a beginner and haven't danced before — many classes welcome novices
  • Speak to the instructor or school beforehand if you have any questions or concerns

With so many ballroom styles to choose, from the foxtrot and tango to the waltz, you're bound to find one you love!

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