Can I dance if I have arthritis?
We get asked all time ‘Can I dance if I have arthritis?’
Well yes, yes you can.
We hear all the time about how exercise is good for us. Granted different types of exercise suit different conditions and personalities better and dancing is not for everyone.We know that exercise has many health benefits, particularly as we get older as it will keep us supple and flexible, reduce the risk of illness, keep our minds active and also encourage opportunities for us to be social beings.
You might be worried that your arthritis may prevent you from joining in with any type of exercise and gentle exercise like dancing may be much more suitable for you rather than high impact sessions. However dance can often be the perfect exercise for people living with arthritis because of the variety of dance style you can learn which involves many different steps.
The reasons to participate in gentle exercise most definitely outweigh the reasons not to as the benefits of exercise include:
- better range of movement and joint mobility
- better pain management
- increased muscle strength
- stronger bones – which can help protect against osteoporosis
- weight control
- improved balance and co-ordination
- reduced stress
- improved sleep patterns
- increased energy levels
- better breathing
- improved self-esteem.
Dance can offer you a variety of movement, travelling, forwards, backwards, side wards and diagonally. In ordinary life you don’t have many opportunities to move side side or backwards but dancing can certainly encourage you to do so and working the joint in different ways.
Dance can also encourage you to have social interaction. If you are living with arthritis you may feel lonely or isolated. Dance classes can encourage you to meet new people and by the nature of dance is that it is a social activity. You may feel like you build connections with new people and create new networks of support for yourself. You are quite likely to meet other people living with arthritis at your dance class and you may be able to support one another and share your experiences with one another.
Dance can help to improve your mobility and balance. When dancing you will be encouraged to move you joints in different ways and also stretch out your muscles. Dance will also encourage you to transfer your weight from one foot to another building your bone density, strengthening your joints, particulary your ankles and also challenging your balance.
Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC Keep Dancing are dance classes that are suitable for older adults and many participants who attend our classes live with arthritis. Keep Dancing dance classes are specifically designed for those who are over 50 as they are low impact and gentle on the joints, great for you if you have arthritis. In fact we have dancers that have told us that as a result of attending our classes they have experienced less arthritic pain than previously.
Keep Dancing classes run weekly across the West Midlands, UK and also online so you can dance with us from home. The Xpress-Yourself Dance team are skilled in working with older adults and will happily choreograph alternative dance moves if you feel if a particular dance move aggravates your arthritis. Xpress-Yourself want to make sure that our dances are suitable for everyone as we appreciate that we all have different bodies and feel passionately about creating regular dance opportunities for our participants.
If you are still wanting to find out whether Exercise can make exercise worse click here