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Tips to Get the Most Out of Dancing

Autumn Years highlights tips to get the most out of dancing in an interview with Kathleen L. Davenport, MDphysiatrist at HSS and Ashleigh McAdam PT, DPT, OCS, GCS, physical therapist at HSS. 

Dr. Davenport said the activity has physical and psychological benefits for people of all ages. “I have patients ranging in age from young children to 90-year-old adults who enjoy dancing,” said Dr. Davenport.

“I like to say that dancing checks a lot of boxes. In social dancing, you interact with different people and can make new friends, which has multiple psychological benefits,” Dr. Davenport explained. “On the physical side, you need good balance, you need core strength, you need strength in your lower and upper extremities if you’re doing partner work. Dancing can also be an excellent cardio workout," said Dr. Davenport. 

Physical therapists often say, “motion is lotion,” which refers to movement that provides natural lubrication needed for healthy joints. This is especially important for older adults. “Bringing movement to the body can address joint stiffness from arthritis and improve quality of life,” explained McAdam.

“Regular exercise such as dancing is essential for successful aging in terms of maintaining heart health, muscle strength, and bone health,” McAdam added. 

This article appeared in the September 2023 print edition and online at digitaledition.pub.