A group picture of the participants of line dance party organised by D’ Line Dancerz, Tawau.
TAWAU: Line dancing is getting more popular as a unique form of exercise because it provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise while also allowing you to engage in a social activity.
The exercise not only helps the dancers to keep fit and healthy but also learn to master a dance and build friendship.
A 21-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly. In the study, participants over the age of 75 who engaged in reading, dancing and playing musical instruments and board games once a week had a seven percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who did not. Those who engaged in these activities at least 11 days a month had a 63 percent lower risk!
Physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework were also studied. One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.
There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing which lowered the risk by a dramatic 76 percent. Of all the physical activities, dancing involved the most mental effort.
Medical researchers reported that dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength and condition the body.
It also helps to increase muscle tone and coordination, lower the risk of coronary heart disease, improve cholesterol level, strengthens bones, reduce blood pressure, keeps you mentally fit and help you manage your weight.
The other benefits are strengthening bones of your legs and hips, helping to keep the heart in shape, building and increasing stamina, developing the circulatory system, increasing flexibility and balance and providing cardiovascular conditioning.