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Dance Your Way To A Longer Life

Keeping fit and healthy as you get older can be difficult, as your limbs and muscles aren’t what they used to be.  A new initiative pioneered by ballet legend Darcey Bussell aims to show the older generation how much fun and fitness can be gained from embracing dance as a type of exercise.

Dance as Exercise

Why choose dance?

Although the gym offers a whole range of equipment to use to raise overall fitness, some people do not find it an attractive prospect, particularly the idea of getting hot and sweaty around people they do not know. Dance classes offer a rather different atmosphere which some find easier to get on with, as they learn with others of the same skill level with the benefit of an upbeat and fun vibe. The Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing project, pioneered by the Royal Academy of Dance, implemented a variety of dance classes in local community settings which are particularly catered to older adults, including teachers who have been specifically trained on how to teach older people who may not have the physical mobility they once enjoyed.

The results of the project, partly funded by the Community Learning and Innovations Fund, showed it to be a huge success with 80% of those participating being over the age of 75 and the oldest being 102!

What are the benefits?

Dancing as exercise is endlessly beneficial as it works the entire body in many different ways, whilst also being a more exhilarating alternative to the every day grind of the gym.  The older generation, particularly those over retirement age, are also able to enjoy the mental benefits of being involved in group learning and reintegration into a social atmosphere.  Keeping the body and mind busy at later stages in life can be the key to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle with the potential of helping you live longer. Physical activities on any scale can help get older people ready to embrace a new lust for life and desire to exercise more and become fitter than ever before. 

However, with age an ever-present factor, it is important after any physical exertion to look after tired and aching limbs. Compression hosiery is known to be an effective remedy for tired legs and also keeps a healthy blood flow to allow you to be active for longer whilst treating any pains that come along the way. Between the mental and physical benefits, and the helpful use of compression stockings, there really is no excuse not to get your dancing shoes on and give it a try!

Susie Thickpenny find me on Google+.

20th June, 2014