Steppin is Healthy!


If you secretly sashay and prance across your living room when you’re home alone or long to tango, jitterbug or swing dance with your significant other, turns out you benefit greatly from it. Dancing allows you to cut the rug, have fun and reap some great health benefits in the process. Vic Logo PicYes, my friends dancing is a great low-impact exercise that is good for you!

According to an article by Sixwise.com, the Mayo Clinic research reported these significant health benefits of social dancing:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase energy
  • Improve strength
  • Increase muscle tone and coordination

And whether you Step, Salsa, Ballroom or Line Dance, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) says that dancing can:

  • Lower your risk of coronary heart disease
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Help you manage your weight
  • Strengthen the bones of your legs and hips

Dancing is a very unique form of exercise that provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while also allowing you to engage in a wonderful social activity. Dance is also stimulating to the mind. An extensive 21-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.

 

“In the study, participants over the age of 75 who engaged in reading, dancing and playing musical instruments and board games once a week had a 7 percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who did not. Those who engaged in these activities at least 11 days a month had a 63 percent lower risk!

Interestingly, dancing was the only physical activity out of 11 in the study that was associated with a lower risk of dementia. Said Joe Verghese, a neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a lead researcher of the study, “This is perhaps because dance music engages the dancer’s mind.”

Verghese says dancing may be a triple benefit for the brain. Not only does the physical aspect of dancing increase blood flow to the brain, but also the social aspect of the activity leads to less stress, depression and loneliness. Further, dancing requires memorizing steps and working with a partner, both of which provide mental challenges that are crucial for brain health.”, the author states.

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