As we all know, with aging, muscles weaken and the sensory mechanisms that help sustain balance become less sharp, which can lead to falls. We also know that remaining sedentary just accelerates the loss of strength and balance.
For the elderly in nursing homes it could be an even quicker dissolution of strength and balance because residents tend to have less freedom and fewer opportunities for physical activity, so it’s all the more important to find ways for them to exercise to preserve their strength and balance.
That’s were ballroom dancing comes into play.
According to Reuter’s Health, a Brazilian research group has found that regularly taking to the dance floor gave elderly nursing home residents a better sense of balance. These Brazilian researchers found a fifty percent improvement in balance and far fewer falls among seniors who participated in a half hour of ballroom dancing three days a week for three months as compared to those who were sedentary.
So, to all of you that are getting up there in age here’s your reminder that regular doses of dancing will increase lower extremity strength, and therefor lower your risk of falling. Even if you haven’t danced before, it’s a very safe, healthy way to increase your chances of staying around and keeping healthy.
See you on the dance floor!