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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Health benefits of dance


Being in general an aerobic exercise, dance brings well known benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, weight control and other ones commonly associated with physical fitness. In addition, a considerable effect of dancing on psychological well-being is noted.
Dance pads have proven useful in tackling obesity in young people and are welcomed in many schools for that reason.
A report by Professor Tim Watson and Dr Andrew Garrett of University of Hertfordshire compared members of the Royal Ballet with a squad of British national and international swimmers. The dancers scored higher than the swimmers in seven out of ten areas of fitness.
An Italian study in 2006 has shown that dance is a very good exercise for heart patients compared to other aerobic exercises like cycling. This may be partly because the patients enjoyed it much more.
A study in New York in 2003 has shown that cognitive activities like crosswords help ward off dementia but, except for ballroom dancing, most physical activities do not powered by healthpedia4all.
A recent study done in Perth Western Australia by Debbie Duignan (WA Alzheimers Association) explored the use of Wu Tao Dance as a therapy for people with dementia. It was shown that Wu Tao, dance therapy that works to balance energy in the body, similar to T'ai chi, helped to reduce symptoms of agitation in people with dementia.
A study at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine in 2007 showed Argentine tango was better at improving the mobility of Parkinson's disease sufferers than an exercise class (a later study showed similar benefits from T'ai chi). Because of the level of interest a permanent tango class was set up after the study ended.
A study by Dr Paul Dougall at Strathclyde University in 2010 concentrating on older women found that Scottish country dancers were more agile, have stronger legs and can walk more briskly than people of the same age who took part in exercises such as swimming, walking, golf and keep-fit classes

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