Happy National Dance Day!
For this fleet-footed holiday we want to show off some of the great moves our residents have busted out in our Brightview Senior Living communities. But even more than that we have to talk about how much of an enormously positive impact dance can have on the health and well-being of seniors of all ages.
There are many health benefits of dancing for seniors than you might first imagine. Sure, you get to hop on the dance floor and show off your moves, but there are many studies that tie dancing to a number of beneficial health outcomes. The National Institutes of Health conducted a review of studies related to the benefits of dancing among seniors. Their findings suggested that “dance, regardless of its style, can significantly improve muscular strength and endurance, balance, and other aspects of functional fitness” among seniors.
Another key benefit of dancing is the, of course(!), the social aspect. Engaging with others in a fun and active way leads to better social and emotional health among seniors (and everyone else). Social dancing has been observed to improve positive behavior, feelings, and even communication among patients with dementia. This is why we include dancing and our Mind & Music program as part of our activities in our Wellspring Village® communities as well.
The studies keep pointing to the health benefits of dancing for seniors, so start tapping your toes as you read along. A study conducted in Australia showed that individuals with mood disorders felt less depressed and saw a reduction in stress, anxiety, and insomnia after participating in a 14-day tango instruction program.
Do you want to lose some weight? Feel like you’re a bit sluggish going around town? Take a dance class! You burn over 300 calories every half-hour you spend cutting a rug. That’s more energy than you would expend during an easy run or swim! Again, regardless of the style or speed of dance it’s been shown to burn even more energy than cycling. This is a result of your body taking advantage of the movement in all directions. There is no isolation, you’re using your whole self when you dance. Time magazine describes it this way, “If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city, he says. All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.”
Exercise is a key part of enjoying and maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle, no matter your age. Why not make it fun and enjoy it with others? We’ve purposefully included dance activities in our weekly routines for the holistic benefit of all our residents. Vibrant living is central to Brightview Senior Living. It’s a philosophy that shapes our culture. All Brightview associates are committed to creating a meaningful lifestyle for each resident, no matter where they are cognitively or physically. We use our SPICE wellness model to create this lifestyle - for residents and associates alike. Now get out there and enjoy the health benefits of dancing!
MUSIC & DEMENTIA - INTRODUCING MIND & MUSIC IN WELLSPRING VILLAGE®
Because people respond to music in such unique ways, Wellspring Village® associates learn how each resident identifies with music. Finding the “right” music can move the immobile, calm the agitated, spark memories for the forgetful, and provide words when language is lost. Music associated with positive life events and memories can also:
- Improve mood and attention
- Create higher quality of life and well-being
- Reduce pain
- Improve sleep
- With Mind & Music added to their routines, Wellspring Village® residents living with dementia enjoy these benefits and more for brighter, happier days.