Did you know that just dancing, can have a greater effect on helping you remain independent, compared to any other exercise you may do?
A recent study published in 2018 looked at how various forms of physical activity affected 1,000 elderly Japanese women and their ability to complete tasks like walking, bathing and dressing.
The women were asked about their health in general, the types of physical activity they regularly did, and were monitored over eight years.
Types of physical activity
The various types of physical activity the women did, and were compared, were as follows:
- aqua exercise
- strength exercise
- tai chi
- Japanese croquet
- ball games
- martial arts
Dancing led the pack by 73%
The researchers found that physical activity generally helped women remain independent as they aged. However, one exercise had a greater effect than any of the others – and that was dancing.
Women who frequently danced had a 73% lower chance of becoming ‘disabled’ (ie losing the ability to complete tasks like walking, bathing and dressing) – compared to women who did not frequently dance.
None of the other physical activities had such a strong association, even after adjusting for demographic and health factors.
What makes dancing so special?
The secret may be that dancing requires a variety of different skills, both mental and physical.
“Dancing requires not only balance, strength, and endurance ability, but also cognitive ability: adaptability and concentration to move according to the music and partner, artistry for graceful and fluid motion, and memory for choreography,” the researchers write.
So, if you’re running out of ideas to keep yourself busy and occupied during lockdown, turn on some music, and dance – your mind and body will love you for it!
- Dance Like Your Doctor Is Watching: It’s Great for Your Mind and Body
- The Hidden Health Benefits of Dance
- Exercise type and activities of daily living disability in older women: An 8-year population-based cohort study
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