Science Daily “Dance therapy improves Senior’s gait and balance”! So, dust off your dancing shoes and get ready for some physical fitness that is fun to do while working out. If you don’t have any dancing shoes or have two left feet it’s never too late to start. Try some line dancing at your senior center or maybe try some swing lessons to get ready for your grandchild’s wedding. Square dancing, ballroom, belly dancing, folk, jazz, and tap. Dancing will help to make you stronger, give you more energy, and help you sleep better. A good night’s sleep will also help you to avoid the flu and colds. A person who retires has a good twenty years of cha-cha left. Ahh, you say you don’t have a partner? No Problem. Try chair dancing.

Its low impact and if your legs aren’t as strong as they used to be, try chair dancing, because well…it involves a chair. Some senior centers even offer “Sit and Get Fit” classes. Dancing will keep you happy and your heart healthy. It flexes your joints, stretches muscles and keeps your heart pumping. It can ease arthritis, decrease joint aches, strengthen and tone muscles, and enhance balance and agility. It can even stimulate memory and better mental functioning. Feeling lonely and a little depressed? Dancing is a terrific social activity. Meet new people, get out of the house and make new friends. How can you not feel joyous and energized? Dancing will uplift your spirits and help you to feel better about yourself.

Now what about my feet you may be asking? For 2011 the senior health plan, Medicare Part B, will cover the services of a podiatrist (foot doctor) for medically necessary treatment of injuries or diseases of the foot (hammer toe, bunion deformities, and heel spurs). It does not cover routine foot care. Your feet and the Tango? Research was done with a group of seniors aged 62 to 91. They had a walking group and a tango group. All participants were identified as being at risk for falling. After 10 weeks of classes the Tango group had greater improvements in balance, posture, motor coordination and cognitive gains than the walking group. It seems that learning how to transfer weight and maintain good posture helped the seniors feel steadier on their feet. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start dancing!