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Healthy Aging Tip from Sit and Be Fit TV host, Mary Ann Wilson, RN
Healthy Aging Tip from Sit and Be Fit TV host, Mary Ann Wilson, RN

Sit and Be Fit workouts incorporate a lot of dance choreography and frequent changes in movement patterns. There’s a good reason for that. This style of exercise promotes physical, cognitive, and emotional health. Dance has long-term benefits that are now being recognized by science thanks to a growing number of “healthy aging” researchers.

Results of a 21-year study of older adults, 75+ years, by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, revealed that DANCING is the best movement-based leisure activity you can do to reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.  In fact, dancing was the greatest risk reduction activity of any studied, including reading, doing crosswords, bicycling and swimming.

Additional benefits of dance are revealed in a study by Dr Jonathan Skinner from Queen’s University Belfast, demonstrating social, mental and physical benefits of social dancing for older people. It suggests that dancing staves of illness, and even counteracts decline in aging.

In other recent studies conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia,  therapeutic benefits of participation in dance-based therapy included improved balance and gait in older adults. These findings are being verified in study after study and are extremely relevant given that falls are the leading cause of hospitalization and loss of independence for older adults in the United States.

Dance is not only an easy, fun, way to protect your mind and improve cognitive health, it also provides an array of social and physical benefits including decreased fall risk.  So, whether you’re dancing in a public setting, or with me on Sit and Be Fit, or with yourself, “JUST DANCE!” to feel good and age well!

Recommended workouts that feature a variety of dance and balance exercises:

Sit and Be Fit Chair Exercise Basics

Sit and Be Fit Season 14

Sit and Be Fit Season 13

Sit and Be Fit Season 12

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