Best Exercises for After 50: Part 3

In the first two blogposts of this series, I talked about why walking and bike riding are wonderful ways to keep moving after the age of 50. Today I will discuss the benefits of my favorite way to exercise: dance. 

Just like walking and bike riding, dance is for everyone. Even if you can't walk, you can dance! You can dance in a wheelchair--in fact, there are professional dance companies that incorporate this amazing skill. You can dance from the time you are born until the day you die. I believe dance is a basic expression of who we are, a fundamental part of being human.

Here are some of the great things about dance:

Dance brings you joy. You can express yourself--your emotions, your ideas, your essence--through dance. Dance engages every part of you: body, mind, and soul.

Dance is a way of moving, stretching, strengthening, and using every part of your body in every different direction, plane, level, and aspect of space. Dance uses all your muscles, all your joints, in all their various capacities.

You can dance all by yourself in your living room. Or anywhere in your home. You can dance with a partner--a fantastic way to strengthen your relationship while strengthening your body.

Dancing in unison with a group is a powerful experience which makes you feel part of something much bigger than yourself. It is on a par with playing a musical instrument in a band or orchestra. Similar to playing a sport on a team.

Learning choreography is great for your brain! This is an aspect of dance that puts it far above other types of exercise--there are proven benefits for your mind as well as your body.

While most people probably feel comfortable walking and riding a bike, many people feel self-conscious about dancing. Some people struggle with finding the rhythm, and others have difficulty picking up movement. But there is no reason these folks should avoid dancing! All these skills can be learned with patience and practice.

You can find dance opportunities everywhere. Zumba classes are available all over the globe! And there are many other styles and types of dance classes you might enjoy. Or skip the classes and just go out dancing. Or host a dance party in your home. So many options!

Have you found a unique style of dance that speaks to you? Have you overcome your shyness and joined a dance class? Have you lost weight or gotten fit through dancing? I'd love to hear your story!