Most doctors and experts who specialize in senior health agree that elderly people need some form of aerobic exercise each day, for 20 to 30 minutes. However, since old age comes with many health issues and the body is not as limber and strong as it used to be, it may be hard to come up with an exercise routine suitable for seniors.
Dance is one of those activities that may just be the best solution for elderly who want or need to exercise. Whether it is a dance DVD or dance classes and events at the community center, this type of aerobic activity is both fun and healthy, especially with a partner.
Benefits of dance for seniors
Dance exercise is always a good choice for everyone, including seniors. This aerobic activity burns calories and thus helps to maintain healthy body weight. It also works the heart muscle and keeps it healthy and strong. Dance increases stamina, improves fitness, increases the heart rate which leads to better oxygen supply to all the organs, tones the muscles and improves bone health.
Aerobic exercise, such as dancing, five or six times a week regulates the blood pressure, prevents diabetes and heart disease, boosts the immune system and improves the mood.
If it is done under professional supervision, dance can be a form of physical therapy for seniors. It improves balance and gait and thus prevents falling, which in elderly can be quite dangerous, because their bones are not as strong as they once were.
When using dance as exercise, it is important to stay safe and make sure not to overdo it. Each person should choose the pace and the level suitable for him or her and try not to put too much strain on the body.
Types of dance for seniors
Any kind of dance is beneficial for seniors, but many people prefer some sort of professional assistance, in order to stay safe and to reap maximum benefit from it. senior dance classes are offered in many community centers, churches, schools, homes and hospitals. The classes may focus on one or more types of dance, from ballroom dancing to salsa, jazz and tap dance. Each of these types has its own particular benefits but all of them are considered aerobic activities and as such they are beneficial for seniors.
There are also DVDs with special dance routines for seniors which can be used at home, alone or with a partner, for those who are not too keen on working in group.