BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
Whether you shut the door and close the blinds to move to the beat of your favorite tunes, participate in a formal dance class, or simply “get jiggy” with your kids, dance is good for the mind and body. The beneficial effects of dance are largely universal for everyone. Children more freely express themselves through music and movement. Adults can ease mental tension simply by bopping to the beat.
Dance has been the subject of research on its general health effects, as well as its therapeutic effects for people living with cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, mental illness, autistic and learning spectrum disorders, and many other health conditions. Consider some of the benefits of dance:
*Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
*Builds strength and agility
*Improves mental health status in patients with various psychological conditions
*Improves joint range of movement and muscle flexibility
*Enhances body esteem
Whether for toddlers, teens or older adults, many fitness programs have evolved from various forms of dance, including Zumba and Barre classes. Similarly, forms of dance have become fitness pursuits in their own right such as hip hop, country line dancing, and stepping. Whatever kind of music helps you get your groove on, get on up and dance!
Wishing You Well,