I was speaking with my Dad a while back, who took up Tai Chi and now started integrating riding a stationary bike in his workout regimen. I think I may have caught him right after a workout on his stationary bike and he was telling me how great it made him feel. I was so excited to hear that and echoed this sentiment. I’ve been saying this to friends and others for many years, essentially ‘touting’ the energy and morale boost that one can get from exercising. At the time, I got a lot of eye rolls, some smirks and I think even, ‘it’s all in your head Marlene.” Today, a lot of health experts and researchers are acknowledging that exercise does make us feel good. Many studies have shown this. For example, an article I read in Pub Med said their findings showed “evidence to support the notion that exercise may enhance psychological well-being.”
In fact, I was listening to CBC a couple weeks ago and several people, young and old were talking about how incredible exercising makes them feel. One of the people being interviewed was in her 80s and had recently started exercising with her daughter and thoroughly enjoying it.
Let me remind you that there are different ways to exercise. Others that you may not have considered, such as chair exercise, is another way to stay physically active. Dancing is another one. As a lover of dance, I must say that this is one of my favourite forms of exercise. You can enjoy it at any age. I’m seeing a lot of older people (when I say older, I mean 70s and 80s) dancing up a storm on social media and I love watching, because they’ve got the moves! Dance, combined with great music, feels like therapy for many. You don’t need fancy workout gear; you don’t even need workout shoes for some of them – I’m thinking about the African dance workout that I enjoy, called Kukuwa Fitness where they dance bare feet. They’re on YouTube, check it out and subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDnfjS_PGluQYhuEqgXbYAQ.
Experts agree that dancing can help boost your mood, improve cardiovascular health, boost cognitive performance and more. An expert from Healthline shares that dancing can maintain and even boost your ability to think as you age. If you’re asking how this happens, he says “scientists have found that areas of the brain that control memory and skills, such as planning and organizing, improve with exercise like dance.” He adds that unlike other forms of exercise, dance has added bonus, it can improve balance through rhythm and music. So, if you’re dancing, keep moving, and if you haven’t started yet, it’s never too late.
A study from Harvard Healthy Publishing, gives us a sense of how much calories you can burn doing 30 minutes of certain exercises:
- Bicycling, Stationary: moderate; 125 pound person – 210 calories; 155 pound person – 252 calories; 185 pound person – 294 calories
- Dancing, disco, ballroom, square: 125 pounds – 165 calories; 155 pounds – 198 calories; 185 pounds – 231 calories
- Tai Chi: 125 pounds – 124 calories; 155 pounds – 144 calories; 168 pound – 231 calories
- Walking: 3.5 mph (17 min/mi): 125 pounds- 107 calories; 155 pounds – 133 calories; 168 pounds – 159
Whatever form of exercises you choose, integrate variety, keep at it, do it safely and enjoy!
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