The SaddleBrooke Squares wants you to join them for their free annual “Give Us a Whirl” dance in the MountainView Ballroom on Sunday, Jan. 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Contact Cindy or J.P. at email@example.com for information or the club website at www.saddlebrookesquares.com. Not only will you have fun; you will be healthier.
Don’t Be a Square—Dance
By WebMD, www.webmd.com
Do-Si-Do Fitness: “Bow to your partner, bow to your corner, circle left, aleman left…swing and promenade home.” Americans are linking arms, sashaying, and “do-si-doing” to longer, healthier, and happier lives. They’re having a blast and lowering their risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, age-related memory loss, osteoporosis, and depression.
Good for both the body and mind, square dancing provides more than the daily dose of heart- and bone-healthy physical activity. Remembering the calls helps keep the mind sharp, potentially staving off age-related memory loss, experts say. The companionship that square dancing offers may work as an antidote to depression and loneliness—a statement confirmed by square dancing advocates everywhere.
“It’s just so much fun. Square dancing is setting friendship to music. It’s having a place to get up and go in the evening where you can work up a good tired and a good sweat.”—a quote that is echoed by active square dancers.
“If you can walk, you can square dance. Square dancing contributes to a more healthy and independent lifestyle,” says Lewis Maharam, MD, a sports medicine specialist in New York City. “Anything that keeps you active will keep you healthier and feeling younger. In most cases if you can walk, you can square dance, but it’s good advice to talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.”
“Any weight-bearing exercise, including square dancing, is a major benefit as one ages,” Maharam follows. “Weight-bearing exercise improves bone health and thus may help stave off the brittle-bone disease osteoporosis. Square dancing also helps you with the feeling of where you are in space and with coordination, and this may reduce falls and chances for fractures. Regular square dancing may boost endurance, and being able to tolerate longer bouts of moving faster may result in improved cardiac function as the heart, a muscle, can become more efficient if trained. Square dancing can be considered a type of cross training, which helps to offset the muscle loss and strength loss typically associated with normal aging.”
What to Expect? On any given evening, dancers will twirl across the floor to the music of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Road,” the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive,” Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money,” as well as songs by the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
“It takes your mind off of the day-to-day problems,” says Jerry Reed, former executive director of CALLERLAB. “All those other worries and thoughts disappear when you are dancing.”
Ready to sashay your way to fitness? What’s stopping you from joining in all the fun?
© 2001 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.