According to a University of Oxford study, there are many social and health benefits to dance. Even for people who believe they have “two left feet”, dancing helps people feel closer to and more connected to others. (Tom Barnes, https://mic.com, 11/4/15).
As we age, it’s true that some people have more limited mobility, yet just listening to the music provides an alternate way of participating in this very social activity. Clap your hands and sing along with the music, and allow the associated memories to contribute to a positive experience.
If you doubt benefits of music and dance, just think about the popularity of shows like “Dancing with the Stars” or “So You Think You Can Dance”. Even “armchair dancers” will tell you that their experience lifts their spirits and lessens depression.
While music and dance might not be for everyone, movement is still important. Follow these simple tips for keeping active and providing your body and soul with the stimulation it needs to thrive.
- Make a commitment to move a little more every day. Whether it’s walking in the house, going to the gym, hiking or engaging in sports, make movement a habit.
- Develop a buddy system. Find a friend, relative or neighbor who will support and encourage you to move more, and you can do the same for that person.
- When possible, walk don’t ride. In malls, hotels, office buildings or other two-story (or higher) facilities, avoid escalators and elevators. Walk instead.
Look for new ways to move. If you were a tennis player and can no longer play, consider swimming. Develop other interests and take pride in doing what you can do. Focus on the “ability” not the “disability”.