Health & Fitness Thru Dance - Jersey Style
by Donay Wilford
When someone asks me, "Why do you dance so much?" I answer, "Why not?" Why not do something that you love, enjoy and that you know is beneficial to the myriad aspects of life: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Let's take a moment and talk about all of these aspects because they work in conjunction to contribute to our sense of happiness and wellbeing.
Most people are probably aware of the physical benefits of any type of exercise, and dancing certainly falls into that category. Whether it's ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, ballroom or any other form of dance, the benefits equal the amount of work you put into it. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to improve overall health by promoting weight, blood pressure, blood sugar reduction and increasing heart and lung function. The list of physical benefits truly does go on and on.
A twenty-one-year study of seniors aged 75-plus, by a prestigious medical college in New York, has reported some interesting findings concerning protection against dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, reading offered a 35% in the reduction in risk of dementia. Biking, swimming and golfing offered 0%, crossword puzzles done at least 4X a week offered 47% and frequent dancing offered a whopping 76%. Those statics alone are certainly a good reason to dance. Based on this study, it can be concluded that dancing is definitely a boon for maintaining mental acuity.
Meeting people and sharing the experience of partner dancing is one of the finest of social mediums, clearly a lot more personal than some of the current social mediums offered by our high tech society. Human touch offers a strong emotional connection that can calm anxiety and host of other emotions that interfere with our sense of wellbeing.
Spirituality is such a personal concept but if dancing takes you there, then it's to be experienced and enjoyed.
I conclude that dancing should be a part of our lives and we should dance as much and as often as we feel. It's an art form so primal to humanity and so beneficial to the core of our existence.
To all my readers, I want this column to be interactive so please feel free to email me about any questions you have concerning dance and/or fitness, or to spotlight any dance venues in New Jersey. I also invite New Jersey dance schools or dance clubs to get in touch with me for future interviews for this column. ◊◊◊
Donay Wilford is a certified massage therapist, fitness trainer, licensed nail technician, dancer and choreo-
grapher who has been involved in dance for over thirty years. He has studied ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, ballroom (Latin and smooth) throughout northern New Jersey and New York. He teaches at Hackensack University Medical Center Fitness & Wellness Center powered by the NY Giants. Come join Donay for his salsa dance aerobics classes on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. at Hackensack UMC Fitness & Wellness Center, located at 87 Route 17 North, Maywood, NJ 07607. For further info. contact Donay at 201-894-0138.
Donay Wilford may be reached at donaysfitness4U@yahoo.com
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