One of the natural ways to slows down the aging process is consistent physical activities. Many anti-aging experts recommend sports activities while others prefer dancing. But which one is better as an anti-aging exercise, sports activity or dancing exercise?
Sports vs Dancing Exercise
It’s obvious from studies that exercise and sports activities have anti-aging effects. But what about dancing as an exercise to slow down the progression of aging?
As we grow older, we tend to suffer from a decline in mental and physical fitness; and can be worsened by cognitive decline conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. For some people, this strikes fear while some people make it as a motivation to find ways to slow down the progression of cognitive decline.
Certainly, both sports and dancing activities are vital physical activities. If you love sports, there is no problem loving and doing it. But what if you’re someone looking a better way to stay and feel young; and like to dance, does dancing a viable way to slow down aging?
Well, one study1 finds that dancing exercise is better at slowing down the aging process.
Why Dancing Is Good For The Brain?
Consistently getting involved in physical activity allows seniors to maintain and improve their motor skills. Moreover, dancing has an advantage over typical physical activities.
So, why dancing exercise is better? Dancing is better than other exercises due to the extra challenge of learning the dancing routines.
Exercise has the beneficial effect of slowing down or even counteracting the age-related decline in mental and physical activity. In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercises such as dancing and endurance training have both increases the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balanced.
Maintaining proper balance is vital as we age. It is with the balance we can do the things we want to do such as mobility and able day-to-day activities.
Doing Both Endurance and Dancing Exercises
Although in this study dancing wins, never ignore the health benefits of other exercises such as endurance exercise and resistance training.
For instance, resistance training or weight lifting is a valuable physical activity for preserving muscles. Other quick workouts are also valuable in boosting the release of nitric oxide in the body, which is helpful for cadiovascular health.
Now, combining both of these brain-boosting and brain-preserving exercises allows even better benefits. Plus, doing more and keep moving during senior years is vital. Humans require movement and sedentary lifestyle is damaging.
Of course, good nutrition should be a part. Enjoying pomegranate juice after a sweaty exercise can be an added value to slowing down aging.
Can You Dance?
Probably, one of the significant questions seniors have is; Can I Dance? Well, if you practice you can. If you persist, you can achieve something beyond what you can imagine.
Do you need inspirations? Well, watch these two senior ladies dancing in a prestigious reality show.
Here’s one with a simple but powerful message, “If she can, anyone can!”. While was already interested in dancing since at a young age, she gave it up due to her marriage and only came back dancing in her golden years.
The time she stopped dancing is a long time and would be enough for most people to totally give it up. But her interest is still alive and burning. The key here is desire because it keeps the light burning and keeps pursuing what you want.
Here’s another one, a 96-year old woman dancing in another reality show. She’s a yogi, you might say. Well, why not get involved in yoga as part of your physical activity and dance, as well?
You Don’t Have To Become A Professional
While you’re free to dream and follow it to be a professional dancer, it’s unlikely you will. So, if you are a senior and simply want to stay healthy, just dance. Just enjoy dancing and the benefits you are going to reap.
The good news is when you’re physically active, it tends to manage stress down in the background. This is because you are enjoying your activities while at the same time reaping the many health benefits.
And, if you care about your eye health as vision decline is prevalent in seniors, minimize your screen time.
Lead author of the study adds;
I believe that everybody would like to live an independent and healthy life, for as long as possible. Physical activity is one of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to this, counteracting several risk factors and slowing down the age-related decline. I think dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for the body and mind, especially in older age.