Get fit and footloose on the dance floor

Dancing as an aerobic activity has a tremendous amount of health benefits. It not only improves the condition of your heart and lungs, but it also contributes to overall strength and muscle tone. Many pick up the hobby of dance for kicks (pun intended) only to realize it increased their flexibility and mobility while slimming their waistline. Increased energy levels and a better sense of balance are other dancing perks perfect for adults looking to increase activity levels.

By the way, you’re never too old to put on tap shoes! As women age, any activity that helps strengthen bones, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and increase flexibility gives them a healthy edge over their peers. In a 2019 healthline article, professional dancer and AKT director of education, Jonathan Tylicki, provides the perfect example of why we should incorporate dance into our fitness routines. “Movements that we typically do in our daily life, like walking, taking the stairs and common workouts like treadmills and cycling, occur in the sagittal plane, but dance works your body from all planes, including lateral and rotational, which turns on and conditions all muscles, meaning no muscle is left behind.”

In other words, dance develops and stretches our bodies in ways that day-to-day activities and current modes of fitness can’t.

If stress relief is what you’re looking for, dancing may be the perfect solution. If you’d prefer not to swing and sashay solo but with a partner instead, even better. A study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that people who danced with a partner found many of their stressors were relieved and forgotten during time on the dance floor.

Sharing an activity with a friend or two creates opportunities for camaraderie and teamwork along with providing a new social network of friends. Maintaining relationships and participating in social activities can fade as we age. It’s important to stay active and engage in group activities for physical and mental health reasons.


If you’re new to dancing or haven’t laced up your ballet shoes for quite a while, check with your doctor. Consult on the style of dance you’re considering and see if the exertion level is right for you. Staying hydrated, as with any sport, is important. Be patient with yourself and focus only on your own progress as you improve.

Last but definitely not least, dancing is fun! Enhance your self-confidence, express yourself and let the cares of the day slip away as you increase your metabolism. With nothing but the possibility of positive impact on your heart, mind and soul, it’s time to boogie.

Not a member?
Join for FREE!

Enjoy encouraging, motivating, uplifting content created just for women like you, all from the health care name you trust: Franciscan Health.