Let’s Dance! How To Boogie Down While Firming Up!

Firm Up While Having Fun2012 prom

Whether it’s ballroom or swing, Zumba or jazz, dance is helping people of all ages and physical abilities get into shape.  Even those who hate to exercise may enjoy dancing for health and wellness.  It’s great for all ages and can have mental and social benefits as well as physical ones.

Boogie Toward A Healthier You

Similar to brisk walking, cycling or aerobics, dancing represents a weight-bearing activity that can be performed moderately and at low impact levels – making it safe and doable.  Plus it’s fun, often making it an easier exercise for participants to stick with.  Consider the many physical benefits.  Gliding or grooving around the dance floor can help you:

  • Improve you balance and posture, helping to prevent falls
  • Strengthen muscles and bones without harming your joints
  • Increase your flexibility and stamina
  • Reduce tension and stress
  • Lose weight wile toning your entire body

“Dancing works muscle groups in different ways than other forms of exercise,” says Susan Phillips, MPT, a physical therapist at St. John Hospital and Medical Center.  “For example, ballroom dancing often requires moving backward in long sweeping steps.  That gives the backs of the thighs and buttock muscles a great workout.  Dancing also helps to build a strong body core – improving abs and back muscle support.”

Give Your Brain A Workout, TooHowell 2012 Prom 4

In addition to its many physical benefits, dancing is proving to boost brainpower and provide social outlets.  “Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that promote nerve cell growth,” notes Rosemary Aquilar, MD, an internist at Providence and Providence Park Hospitals.  “Remembering different dance steps and sequences helps you to think on your feet as you maneuver around the dance floor.  It improves your memory skills.”

“A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that ballroom dancing at least twice a week made people less likely to develop dementia,” Phillips says.

Research has also shown that some people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can remember forgotten memories when dancing to music they used to know.

Dancing is also a great way to meet other people who also enjoy this fun activity.  As your social circle grows when meeting others who like to dance, new or rekindled friendships may also develop.

Before Hitting The Dance Floor

You don’t need to be a Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire to enjoy dancing.  But just as with any exercise program, “if you’ve been inactive for some time or have any health issues, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor first,” Dr. Aquiler cautions.

Take Your Pick!

You can find dance classes at many health clubs, community recreation centers or dance schools and studios.  Or try a dance DVD at home.  Here are some of the dances you might want to try:Pat & Matt Prom 2011

  • Ballet
  • Ballroom
  • Belly Dancing
  • Folk Dancing
  • Jazz
  • Line Dancing
  • Modern
  • Salsa
  • Square Dancing
  • Swing
  • Tap
  • Zumba

Did You Know?

A 150-pound adult can burn about 150 calories during 30 minutes of moderate social dancing.

Mark you calendars!  The MediLodge Senior Prom is only a month away!

This article comes from our friends at St. John River District Hospital, neighbors of MediLodge of St. Clair.






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