Senior Moments: Dancing Improves Health Problems

Elderly Dance Physical Health

Welcome to our special new ballroom dancing series — Senior Moments. As part of this monthly series, Fred Astaire Dance Studios will explore how age is just a number. Tune in each month to learn how ballroom dancing can help improve your physical and mental health for many years to come.


Staying active as you age helps prevent common physical health problems the elderly face. Fred Astaire Dance Studios encourages seniors to sign up for ballroom dancing lessons to remain nimble and young at heart.

As people age, it’s normal to let aches and pains keep them on the sidelines but many seniors limit physical activity to cope with stiff joints and sore muscles and to prevent falls. Yet, fitting in exercise is an essential step to staying healthy. Exercise can help improve muscle strength and enable you to maintain your current lifestyle and accomplish regular day-to-day activities.


How Much Exercise Do I Need?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults over age 65 need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, water aerobics, or cycling. If you participate in intense exercise, such as jogging or hiking, 75 minutes is sufficient. It’s also important to include exercises to strengthen muscles at least two days per week and activities designed to improve balance three times per week.


Ballroom Dancing an Ideal Workout

Ballroom dancing is a fun, social form of exercise that will improve your physical health and mental acuity. A ballroom dance lesson at Fred Astaire Dance Studios is a low-impact workout. One hour of ballroom dancing can burn up to 320 calories per hour. Here are a few of the health benefits of ballroom dancing for seniors.


  • Boost Cardiovascular Health. Aside from sticking to a healthy diet and limiting alcohol, exercise is one of the best ways to help improve your cardiovascular health. Burning calories on the dance floor will enable you to shed excess weight, lower cholesterol, and decrease blood pressure.


  • Increase Muscle Strength. Dancing helps tone the muscles, particularly the ones in your legs and glutes. Building muscle strength will make movement easier and combat weakness and frailty, which can put limits on people as they age.


  • Improve Balance. Many ballroom dances require performers to keep their center of balance stable to master the steps. Better balance helps decrease the likelihood of falls.


  • Reduce Risk of Osteoporosis. As people age, bones naturally become more brittle and weaker. People with osteoporosis have less bone mass and strength and are more susceptible to fractures. The chances of having osteoporosis increase as people age, and it is responsible for 2 million fractures every year, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Low-impact exercise, like ballroom dancing, can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.


There’s no question that ballroom dancing can improve your physical health and more importantly, it’s fun. Check out these seniors having the time of their lives on the dance floor.


In this clip, a 70-year-old man captures the beat at a hip-hop dance class.


Take a look at this compilation of seniors strutting their stuff to the music.


The seniors in this video don’t let their walkers get in the way of puttin’ on the Ritz and showcasing their tap-dancing skills.


Learn to Dance at FADS

Running a 5K or hitting a Zumba class may be difficult but ballroom dancing at FADS is a popular pastime for seniors because it is accessible. Learning how to waltz, tango, and swing is easy on the joints and good for the soul. To learn more about taking ballroom dancing lessons, contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to schedule your first lesson.