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Article by www.agespace.org

Senior dance classes are a fantastic way to maintain well being and keep active!

Dancing in old age is great for your elderly parent.

Dancing is the movement of the body in any form of moving your hands, arms, feet, legs, hips and head. Dancing can be anything from jumping, jiving, tap, tango, shaking your hips or moving your body around.

Dancing is argued to be one of the most enjoyable ways of getting up, moving around and keeping fit.

Finding something suitable for you

One of the easiest ways to find out what dance classes are available to you in your area is by going down to your local leisure centre, community centre, church or schools to see if they deliver dance classes for elderly people. If they do then you are in luck and can choose which type of dancing you would like to try out. Dance classes that are low-impact aerobic exercises such as salsa, jazz, tap, martial arts style of dance, ballroom or chair aerobics are great classes to join as you can work at your own pace.

Benefits of Dancing

There are many benefits that dancing has for elderly people. It’s great for their health and keeps them physically fit with lots of moving and balancing techniques to keep them on their toes. Check out the 6 benefits senior dance classes have for your elderly parent below.

Improves Mental Health

Dancing has been argued to reduce mental health disorders such as depression. A group of Australian researchers completed a study on dancing and mental health, and found that men and women with mood disorders, who participated in a two week tango dancing programme, felt less depressed, with dancing reducing their stress levels and they experienced less anxiety and insomnia. So it’s a great idea for your elderly parent to try out a senior dancing class to help improve their mental health, as it’s been proven to improve their state of mind. Keeping them healthy mentally is just as important as their physical health! So encourage them to try out dancing.

Improves Balance

It makes sense that if elderly people are kept on their feet dancing it will benefit them in the long run with their movement and balance. Senior dance classes (and dancing in general) offer elderly people physical benefits which include improvement in balance, strength and gait, which will help reduce the risk of falls. As well as work their arm and leg muscles. As well as improving their balance it will also help improve their co-ordination. They will be moving all the joints in their body working on balance and co-ordination in dance routines and in group or partner dancing. Which is another bonus of your elderly parent joining a senior dance class.

Maintaining a Social life

One of the great things about elderly people joining senior dance classes is that they will meet other like minded people their own age. They may find a dance partner or a group of people they feel comfortable in dancing with. They will start to form friendships and this will help them maintain their social life.

Maintaining Health and Fitness Levels

Dancing is great for elderly people as it will help keep them fit and healthy. Dancing regularly will help your elderly parent maintain their strength and strong bones, improve their posture and muscle strength, increase their balance and co-ordination and will help relieve any stresses they may have. Dancing is classed as an aerobic activity that burns calories, working the heart muscle and is an appropriate activity for anyone of any age and level of fitness.

Dancing or doing some type of aerobic exercise 5 to 6 days per week can help improve energy levels, reduce risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, strengthening your elderly parents heart and improving their overall mood.

Maintaining Control

Dancing can give your elderly parent a great amount of control in their life. They are choosing the style of dancing they prefer to take part in. Whether it’s modern dancing like hip hop or something a little more old school like ball room dancing. Whatever type of dancing they want to participate in, they have chosen what they want to do. Giving them the opportunity to stay in control of their choices and making them more independent. When you are dancing you are in control of your body, your movements and it will feel great on your body and mind. So for your elderly parent to feel in control help them join a senior dance class and feel like they are getting some control and independence back in to their lives. Although, remember to check on them that they are not over doing it, and ensure that they take things slow. After all they may feel young and alive when dancing but it’s important not to forget that they are aging.

Increasing Independence

Joining a senior dance class will give your elderly parent some more independence. Participating in something they are interested in, not having to rely on you and other family members for social support, and most of all, they are getting out and about and are not isolated at home. When they join and meet other people, they may start to discover other types of dancing and they may want to try out them. Whatever their decisions, it’s important that you and other family members are supportive of their lifestyle choices even in old age.

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