Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dance Exercise for Seniors

It is important for everyone--including seniors--to find and enjoy a fitness routine. For senior citizens, low-impact dance can be a fun and healthy way to add exercise while enjoying a social atmosphere.

Choose Your Dance

Types of dancing for seniors are ballroom dancing, tap dancing and square dancing. These kinds of low-impact dances are not only fun, but they strike a sentimental chord with seniors. And they allow everyone to interact in a lively and social way, without causing too much stress on aging joints.
Livestrong.com (Lance Armstrong's exercise-focused group) describes the dances as follows:

• Ballroom dancing may bring back a memory from the past that makes it enjoyable and sentimental.

• Tap dancing is their chance to stomp it out on the dance floor, while improving their coordination and balance.

• Square dancing is a dance type that engages the seniors as couples working with a group. Many seniors belong to square dance clubs which travel to dance conventions where they meet and dance with other seniors enjoying life.

"Dancing is a great way for seniors to get more cardiovascular exercise in their lives," report experts from Livestrong. "The movement of the dances improves their circulation, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and eases tension. In addition, dancing helps seniors become heart healthy."

Chair Dancing

Another great way to utilize dance as a senior is to do the "Chair Dance" workout. This program developed by Jodi Stolove allows seniors to groove to the music without leaving their chairs. The workout can help coordination and offers a fun activity for those who may not be so sure on their feet. Stolove tells seniors that this fun and upbeat low-impact workout can be done at any time of day and requires no aerobic ability.

All dances improve cardiovascular circulation, and the movements, and especially the camaraderie in a class setting, have been known to lift the spirits of participants.
Many local gyms and senior citizen clubs offer dance classes. To find one that suits you, check with your local organizations catering to seniors. If a dance class isn't offered--start your own!


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