As we age, we experience decreased muscle mass, bone density, balance, and range of motion. Because of this, we are more prone to falls and injuries that we may never fully get over. Milestones like retiring or decisions to downsize your home result in less activity and strenuous exercise. As you slow down, everyday activities become more difficult, worsening the progression.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Strength training is critical to preventing age-related decline and maintaining your health and independence. The key is finding a hobby incorporating strength training and exercise that you can start at any age. May we recommend pole dancing? You might be worried that pole dancing isn’t appropriate for your age, but there are many reasons to give it a chance.
Pole Dancing Increases Flexibility
Have you seen how flexible babies are? We are born with incredible flexibility we lose as we don’t use it regularly. As you reduce your movements, you will feel stiff and lose your joints' full range of motion. If you favor an area, the rest of your body has to compensate.
Pole dancing is a gentle exercise that helps restore range of motion and encourages flexibility. You will practice stretching, bending, twisting, and rotating you wouldn’t encounter in your daily movements, leading to better posture and form and less aching and joint wear. This also helps your spatial awareness and sense of balance.
Pole Dancing Helps Balance and CoordinationWhile balance and coordination are crucial to preventing falls, fitness classes often overlook this component. They are the building blocks for movement, leading to better gross and fine motor control. Pole dancing relies heavily on both, starting the moment you have to balance your body on the pole. You will be impressed by how coordinated you become through practicing transitions through routines to music. If you are concerned about injuries during class or have encountered falls previously, look into pole dancer knee pads or pole dancing grip for sweaty hands. Depending on your needs, they will give you extra support and confidence to learn the new moves in class.
Pole Dancing Makes You Stronger
Don’t let your lack of upper body strength be an excuse. You won’t get stronger until you start practicing.
Even at a beginner level, pole dance is a full-body workout. If you don’t possess much upper body strength, learning to pole dance will help you develop it. You will work up to supporting your body weight with your arms, building your forearms, biceps, and triceps. The moves are dynamic and engage multiple muscle groups at once, so you will also see a change in your abdominal and back muscles. As you progress, routines will require more strength from your legs, so you will truly be toning your whole body.
The more you practice, the more you’ll see changes in your upper body, core, and thighs. But you will also work out a commonly forgotten muscle: your heart.
Pole Dancing Can Help Your Cardiovascular HealthWhile strength training is the most important to prevent mobility deterioration, cardiovascular health is vital to prevent heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and even some cancers. Pole dancing gets your heart rate up to tick both boxes. It is rare to find a safe exercise that covers everything, but each class will start with a cardio component to get you appropriately warmed up. After, you will transition to moves that will build strength and endurance. Because pole dancing combines cardio and strength training, you may find yourself losing weight. Even if you don’t see numbers on the scale change, your body composition will change to more muscle and less fat. You may get leaner, and you will notice your clothes feeling a little less snug. Increasing your muscle mass means a bump in your basal metabolic rate. Ensure you are hydrating and fueling your body with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
Pole Dancing Empowers
As we age, it can be difficult to feel confident in our bodies and abilities. Pole dancing reinvigorates your confidence. Learning a new skill will give you feelings of accomplishment. As you get stronger, you will feel more free and independent. You may find some emotional healing through dance. It can be therapeutic, boosting your mental well-being and fending off depression and dementia.
Pole Dancing is Fun
Lastly, you will have fun. Being a grown-up isn’t always fun, and neither is exercise. But pole dancing is an exercise that brings out your inner child. You may feel like you’re a kid at the park all over again. You will feel supported by the community to learn and have fun. It’s incredibly tight-knit and accepting, encouraging everyone to learn new moves, improve, and enjoy time in and out of class together.
Maintain your strength and mobility through dance. Consistently dancing a few times per week will delay or prevent many age-related problems. Try pole dancing and watch your balance, coordination, and strength improve. You may find a spring in your step and improve your outlook on life.