Fit, Healthy, Happy

Dancing is the Ultimate Anti-Aging Medicine

February 20, 2024 Dave and Peggy Stevens, Kim Gibbs
Fit, Healthy, Happy
Dancing is the Ultimate Anti-Aging Medicine
Show Notes Transcript

 And guess what? Science is now getting in on the secret we've been jazzing about for ages! 

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It seems the secret to turning back the clock might just be hiding in your dance shoes! Who would've thunk? As someone who's spent a better part of life exploring every nook and cranny of the health and wellness world to keep us fit and fabulous at any age, I was tickled pink to stumble upon a gem of a study that sings from our RiversZen hymn sheet.

Alright, let's set the scene. Picture this: instead of grunting at the weight bench or panting on the treadmill, you're twirling, tapping, and getting down to the beats. Yes, you heard that right! According to a study published in the prestigious journal, Sports Medicine[^1], dancing isn't just a blast from the past; it's a full-blown rocket ship to enhancing your cognitive and mood well-being. And trust me, we're not talking about those awkward shimmies at a wedding. We're talking structured dance programs that'll have you cha-cha-ing your way to a healthier brain and a happier heart.

Now, why am I, Dave Stevens, your friendly neighborhood advocate for living your best life irrespective of the numbers on your birth certificate, so jazzed about this? Simple. It aligns perfectly with our belief at RiversZen that movement, joy, and community are foundational pillars to aging with grace, vitality, and spunk… like drum and fun. One of my favorite classes.

The Study Digs Deep

This wasn't your run-of-the-mill, let's-see-what-sticks research. We're talking comprehensive scrutiny of dancing's effects on folks right from the sprightly age of 7 to the wise old age of 85. And get this, the boogie-woogie was beneficial for everyone! Whether you're a spring chicken or have a few more rings around your trunk, dancing can kickstart your mood, memory, motivation, and even your social noggin. Talk about a quadruple treat!

Why Dancing?

You might wonder, "Dave, why is dancing such a magical elixir?" Well, my friends, it's not rocket science. Or maybe it is? Learning those sizzling dance moves lights up our brain circuits, keeps us sharp, and hey, it's a fabulous way to stay sociable. Plus, it beats the monotony of counting reps or miles. Dancing infuses art with exercise, ensuring your workout regimen is anything but dull.

My Verdict

If your workout routine has felt like Groundhog Day lately, maybe it's time to swap those sneakers for dancing shoes. And if the thought of prancing around in public gives you cold feet, remember, your living room's dance floor is just as good. There's no shame in busting a move solo or with your pet as the audience!

So, what's the takeaway from all this? Well, if you're looking to stay sharp, sociable, and spry as you navigate the adventures of aging, it might be time to embrace your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. After all, it's not just about moving well, staying healthy, and being happy – it's about living every single day with passion and purpose. And if a little dancing can help us do that, then I say, let's boogie!

Until next time, keep those feet tapping and hearts happy. Let's prove that age is indeed just a number, and let's do it with style!

If you want to know more we’ve included the Abstract and Direct Link to the Study in the footnotes of the transcript.

 

[^1]:  Here is a link to the study "Turns Out Dancing Is One Of The Best Workouts You Can Do, Study Finds" published in Sports Medicine:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-024-01724-5

This study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. It was published online on February 19, 2024.

Abstract:

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of dance on psychological and cognitive health outcomes in different populations.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to synthesize evidence from randomized controlled trials and observational studies. Studies were included if they examined the effects of dance on psychological or cognitive outcomes in healthy adults or adults with chronic diseases.

Results: A total of 27 studies were included in the review. Dance was found to have a positive effect on mood, motivation, social cognition, and memory. These benefits were seen in both healthy adults and adults with chronic diseases.

Conclusion: Dance is a promising intervention for improving psychological and cognitive health outcomes in different populations.