Healthy Dancing!

Doing the two-step might lead to better health.

Are you a fan of “Dancing with the Stars?” Do you find yourself tapping your toes and swaying to the beat? Maybe you feel slightly envious of how much the contestants enjoy dancing and moving in sync with the rhythm. Join them. Westminster Canterbury Richmond offers residents a large variety of exercise options, but anyone can establish a regular dance program and reap the many benefits. Here are some ideas for getting started:

  • Age gracefully by dancing away the years! According to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine, aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory.
  • Build flexibility and reduce stiffness with simple stretches at home. You might not be able to do plies and arabesques like a ballet dancer, but you can get the same results with a regular routine of stretches.
  • Rumba to the music with a partner and reduce stress! In a recent study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that partner dance with music can take the edge off of daily annoyances.
  • Beat the Monday blahs (and blues) by joining a dance group. Participants often find that upbeat dancing lowers depression and increases vitality. The long term benefit is increased energy.
  • Tango your way to new social connections. A dance class might help you make positive new relationships, which could increase your happiness quotient and reduce stress.
  • Waltzing improved the heart health of people who suffer with cardiovascular disease, according to an Italian study. Improved breathing was among the immediate benefits.
  • Dancing requires good posture, which could help reduce your fall risk. Being aware of your body’s movements makes you more cognizant of the risks.

For more information on Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s exercise programs, please contact Brandon Lowe, Stewardship Coordinator, at 804.264.6066 or

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