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Light-Intensity Aerobic Dance a Win for Older Adults

Researchers find benefits after one session.

Older adults practicing aerobic dance

If you want to help your older adult clients move more, promote fun activities like easy aerobic dance classes, and share that even one session is proven to improve cognitive function. Researchers in Japan compared the benefits of 10-minute intermittent aerobic dance exercise with continuous dance exercise and found that both forms of exercise improved cognitive function, but exercise enjoyment and pleasant mood levels were higher with the intermittent dance program.

Study authors recommend implementing more intermittent dance exercise programs because they may have higher adherence rates (since participants found them more enjoyable). Study limitations include lack of a resting control group and the small sample size.

The study is published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (2021; 13 [723243]).

See also: Dance Benefits Older Adults

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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