How Can Dancing Improve Elders' Mental and Physical Health?
Our VR world features dance floors for seniors, which always surprises people. In popular opinion, the elderly do not want to dance or are even unable to dance! However, scientific research has proven otherwise!
For senior citizens, dance and movement therapy can increase balance, lift their spirits, and restore their sense of self. In addition to dancing’s health benefits, it can also make you feel connected to other people. Dancing is about a shared experience, a shared memory that can be found again through movement.
According to a study by Kshatriya et al., the practice of dance/movement therapy can be effective for improving both mood and cognition among the elderly. Dance/movement therapy benefits body stability, promotes improved gait and balance, prevents falls, and reduces the need for pain medicines.
Who wants to eat painkillers when they can dance the pain away?
Dancing and Dementia
Research has shown that the only form of physical activity that can protect the mind against dementia is dancing. A 21-year study by Albert Einstein College of Medicine led to the
aforementioned findings. Participants included seniors who were walking, biking, swimming, golfing, and dancing regularly. Additionally, dancing reduced the risk of developing dementia by 76% in seniors in the study. Those who read reduced their risk by 35% and those who answer crossword puzzles frequently reduced their risk by 47%. There is evidence that the brain is stimulated when dancing movements are recalled. New pathways open up for thought and ideas when neurons in the brain become more active. The brain regions associated with dance learning and performance have been identified through PET imaging.
A Stanford University article suggested that dance may protect the mind by keeping it alert to new possibilities that require frequent, rapid decisions, such as joining in on foxtrots with a partner.
Other studies have shown that regular dancing can reduce dizziness, which is another concern for an aging population. Researchers found that ballet dancers are less likely to experience dizziness because of suppressed inner-ear signals. Dance stimulates the mind and body. As a result of moving the body, blood is pumped to the brain, which makes the brain function better. Therefore, the likelihood of cognitive decline is reduced as well with such brain stimulation.
So, what type of dance will be available on VR Mighty?
Dance classes like Zumba promise cardio workouts in a fun environment. Our virtual instructor can lead you through a group dance session to work up a sweat instead of endlessly running on the treadmill. The class variety ranges from classic, fast-paced Zumba classes to easy options, so everyone can find a class that suits them.
One of the first types of its genre to introduce fitness-oriented dance to the world was Jazzercise. The Jazzercise method has been around since 1969, so many VR Mighty users are familiar with it. Yoga, kickboxing, and dance are blended together in modern form to create a full-body workout. VR Mighty Jazzercise class offers beginner-friendly low-impact and light fitness classes for those just getting started.
Barre Exercises (Ballet)
There is an increasing number of classes focused on ballet-based barre exercises in the world. By applying some of the ballet dancers’ moves to a workout program, barre exercise is created. Rather than jumping around or bouncing around, these classes emphasize controlled movements which build muscle and flexibility.
It is unlikely that your gym offers ballroom dance classes, but they are still a good workout, so we included them in The Mighty Dance World. You can improve your balance and agility by learning how to foxtrot, waltz, or tango. Additionally, knowing these dances is fun. The next time you attend a wedding or reunion, you may steal the dance floor!