Benefits of Dance
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The health benefits of dancing

 

Dance is unique because it uses and strengthens your emotions, cognitive skills, physical abilities and social connections – all of which are vital skills for daily life.

Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:

-        improved condition of your heart and lungs

-        increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness

-        increased aerobic fitness

-        improved muscle tone and strength

-        weight management

-        stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis

-        better coordination, agility and flexibility

-        improved balance and spatial awareness

-        increased physical confidence

-        improved mental functioning

-        improved general and psychological wellbeing

-        greater self-confidence and self-esteem

-        better social skills [1]

A review of research looked at the evidence for the effects of dancing and Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) over the last 20 years, and included 23 studies. The research looked at many different types of dance, ranging from ballroom to folk dance. It also studied different groups of people, and aspects of psychological wellbeing.

Overall the review findings suggested that dancing has a positive effect on our quality of life, body image and mood. It also found that DMT and dancing reduced depression and decreased anxiety. [2]

Furthermore, a 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, added to the growing evidence that stimulating one's mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. Dancing increases cognitive acuity at all ages. Dancing frequently is the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia. As Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Coyle explains in an accompanying commentary:  "The cerebral cortex and hippocampus, which are critical to these activities, are remarkably plastic, and they rewire themselves based upon their use." Our brain constantly rewires its neural pathways, as needed. If it doesn't need to, then it won't. Dance often, and do it now, the sooner the better. It's essential to start building your cognitive reserve now. [3]

 

References                                      

[1] Services, Department of Health & Human. Dance – health benefits https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/dance-health-benefits
[2] Living well, Bupa, The Health Benefits of Dancing https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/health-benefits-dancing
[3] Dancing makes you smarter
https://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm

 

 

Your bum is the first part of your body that will tone when you start dancing  *Read more here

Your bum is the first part of your body that will tone when you start dancing *Read more here

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Self confessed knowledge hoarder.