One of the things that many seniors struggle with as they get older is stability. Where once the simple act of getting around your own home was not an issue, now every step is deliberate and thought-out because perhaps you feel unsteady and you want to avoid falling. Both men and women suffer from decreased stability in old age. Many seniors rely on a cane or walker in order to supplement their personal balance and strength. It’s important to find ways to improve stability to avoid falls and stay healthy.
There are a few fun and healthy ways to improve stability and decrease your chance of damaging falls. Dancing, even at home in your living room, can greatly improve your stability. According to this Gerontology study, age-related deficits in mobility can be mitigated by salsa dancing in older adults. Dance has even been used in rehabilitation therapy for people who have suffered from a stroke. Here is a list of reasons you should start dancing at any age:
Building and Maintaining Your Stabilizing Muscles
Why exactly do seniors become unstable and more prone to falls? While there are a variety of medical conditions that can contribute to the issue, the primary cause is muscle deterioration. As the muscles in your core, back, hips, and legs start to diminish, so does your ability to stabilize yourself. The human frame, though designed to walk, does not naturally hold itself upright. We do this with muscles. Therefore, the best way to improve your stability is to work on the muscles you use to walk and stabilize.
The Muscles You Use for Dancing
Many seniors join stability exercise classes where they practice flexibility and strength through low-impact leg exercises and stretches. There are more fun ways to practice and exercise at home with a caregiver as well. Dancing is, in fact, one of the best ways to work on your stabilization muscles. The act of careful, artful, and rhythmic movement requires control from the same muscles you use for walking. Whether you’re waltzing or boogying down, dance causes you to stretch and put constantly shifting weight on your calves, thighs, hips, back, and core in a fun and dynamic way.
Dancing With Family Caregivers
You can throw on old records and carefully kick up your heels. Dance around your walker, chair, or cane for fun. Your family and caregivers can also lend a hand by becoming your dance partner and adaptive dance-floor support. A caregiver can happily join you in the mini dance-party, and also act as a spotter just in case you dance a little too enthusiastically and put your stability at risk.
Sharing Your Music and History
As you build your stability muscles you will remind your body how much fun (and hard work) dancing is. This enjoyable strengthening activity comes with one other delightful bonus: The opportunity to rediscover and enjoy your favorite music and dance steps. Younger caregivers will also be delighted to go on this journey with you. Pick your favourite music and give your caregivers a quick lesson in how to foxtrot, waltz, or do the Hustle, depending on your personal style and preference.
There are a lot of ways for seniors to work on their stability on their own, with a caregiver, or in groups of other seniors. Once you get your feet under you with a little living room soft-shoe and build back up your dancing muscles, you’ll not only be able to walk with more confidence, you may also be ready to boogie down at the local community or senior center.
We strongly believe that seniors are happier and live well longer when they can stay living in their own home for as long as possible. Dancing and other forms of exercise to stay as fit and strong as possible will help increase your odds of making sure that happens. The other way to increase the probability of staying in your home is to make sure your home meets your changing needs.
We sell walk in showers, shower seats, grab bars and more to help you stay comfortable and safe at home. Visit FreedomShowers.com or Contact us today to learn more about Freedom products to help you age well.