There’s a country song called“Why Don’t You Dance”, that tells about life and how not to miss the most important things in it. Yet, dancing in and of itself is a phenomenal exercise. Just like swimming that uses every muscle in your body, dancing is an excellent way to use muscles that you ordinarily don’t, and still have a great time doing it.
Having been a former competitive gymnast and professional dance instructor, I know the benefits of incorporating dancing into your life. Just for starters, it initiates the production and release of endorphins that help to control your mood. Then too, it’s a terrific way to burn off those calories that tend to settle around the middle and backside when we hit our 50s.
You say you don’t know how to dance? So what! Who determines what dancing is or is not anyway? Put on your favorite CD and dance around your house. Do you really care what you look like when no one is home watching? Remember Chubby Checker and the “twist”? If you want to shed that roll that’s developed around the middle, the twist is the best dance you can do, especially for that area.Maybe you took ballet lessons as a child or teenager. Of course you remember the stretching exercises and the positions necessary to be graceful. So do them! Don’t let your age or health get in the way. Even bad knees or ankles aren’t an excuse. Sit down and do leg raises to prepare for your glide across the floor.Shake up your memory by watching dance competitions on television. You’ll be surprised how much will come back to you. I’ve experienced the same things while watching the gymnastics competitions during the Olympics. I can actually feel what it was like flipping around on the bars or doing handsprings on the mat. It’s enough to get the blood pumping and work the heart up all over again!
Next time you go to a wedding dance, get out there. Don’t sit by idly and miss all the fun. Listen to the music, start keeping time by tapping your foot, then the table, and then stand up. If you can’t handle the jitterbug, then do a polka or a waltz. Even the bunny hop or macarana will do.
You’ll feel rejuvenated and it will bring some color back to your face, too. After all, don’t you want to look your best at such an occasion? Besides, laughing and dancing with the bride or groom is a great way to be remembered in those pictures later!
Take the advice of Bob Uecker, that renowned Milwaukee baseball announcer. When someone hits a homerun he shouts: “Get up, Get up, Get Outta Here!”
Contributed by Deb Lange