Medical and scientific studies show that exercise can keep you healthy in many ways: increasing your strength, stamina, endurance, functional fitness, and improving your cognitive health. But studies also show that dancing is one form of exercise that has the most profound effect on fitness, helping to also improve coordination and balance, and slow symptoms of dementia.
Think about the exercise involved in an evening of square dancing. Square dancing is walking at a steady pace to a called pattern with musical accompaniment. The patterns involve dancers turning and interacting with hands and arms in response to changing choreography that is called using a common vocabulary of action names. Square dancing combines mental concentration with many aspects of good physical exercise including sustained activity, flexibility, balance and coordination.
Square dancers can walk a mile or two in a typical evening of dancing burning calories with every step. Dancing continuously for 10 to 15 minutes at a time improves cardiovascular conditioning. Five-minute breaks allow dancers to socialize with others from diverse backgrounds who share a common joy. The energy put into dancing has an effect on heart beat rate, blood pressure, rate of calorie burn, and cholesterol profile.
All this beneficial activity is further enhanced by a variety of popular music in a positive setting. It has been suggested that regular sessions of square dancing can add several years – enjoyable years – to your life.
The South Hills JCC will be hosting an evening of square dancing for Agewell members and friends on Tuesday, August 6th. Think about joining us for good fun and for your good health!