Dancing to Better Health

The Journal of the North American Menopause Society has a paper about dance, functional fitness, lipid profiles, and self-image in postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal women deal with the struggles of managing their weight, their cholesterol, and many other health related issues. A new study in The Journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found dancing effective in lowering cholesterol levels, improving fitness and body composition, and self-esteem in postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal women deal with the struggles of managing their weight, their cholesterol, and many other health related issues. A new study in The Journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found dancing effective in lowering cholesterol levels, improving fitness and body composition, and self-esteem in postmenopausal women.

After menopause, weight gain, body adiposity increases, and metabolic disturbances, such as increases in triglycerides and bad cholesterol, are not uncommon, leading to increases in cardiovascular risk. Combined with the likelihood of diminishing physically activity, postmenopausal women often suffer from decreased self-image and self-esteem.

This study is important in addressing one aspect of training considerations for menopause. It was designed to analyze the effects of dance practice on body composition, metabolic profile, functional fitness, and self-image/self-esteem in postmenopausal women.

Although the sample size was small, the study suggested some credible benefits of a three-times-weekly dance regimen in improving not only the lipid profile and functional fitness of postmenopausal women but also self-image and self-esteem.

Dance therapy is seen as an attractive option because it is a pleasant activity with low associated costs and low risk of injury for its practitioners. Additional confirmed benefits of regular dancing include improvement in balance, postural control, gait, strength, and overall physical performance.

All of these benefits may contribute to a woman’s ability to maintain an independent, high-quality lifestyle throughout her lifespan.