Get dancing to prevent broken bones

Have you ever questioned whether the exercise you do is really beneficial? While aerobic activities can help increase heart fitness, they do little to improve balance. With this in mind, getting out on the dance floor could help to reduce falls and resulting broken bones.

Published in the May issue of the Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, How diverse was the leisure time physical activity of older Australians over the past decade?, looks at the results of a study of the activity patterns of 22,000 Australians aged over 65. Walking, a good aerobic exercise which can help increase heart fitness, was undertaken by 45.6 per cent of respondents. Yet dancing (2.1 per cent), tai chi (1.4 per cent) and yoga (1.1 per cent), which all help with balance, are not regularly undertaken.

Improved balance can help to reduce the number of falls, and the resulting broken bones, experienced by older Australians. When you consider that in 2008­–09 one in every ten days spent in hospital by an Australian aged 65 and over was the result of a fall-related injury, then improving balance and reducing falls is every bit as important as improving heart fitness.

We’re not suggesting that you give up any form of aerobic exercise, but perhaps you should consider busting a few moves on the dance floor, or partaking in the odd yoga session to make your fitness regime more rounded.

Read the full report at the Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 

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