Zumba for Geriatric Care

Zumba for Geriatric CareYes, that is spelled correctly – Zumba. If you have never heard of this new fitness dance craze, let me catch you up. Zumba is a group fitness style that includes Latin dance moves to help tone while caring for participants’ cardiovascular health. While there are many young people that enjoy Zumba, there is actually a type of Zumba that is tailored for older participants, which “incorporates dance/fitness routines to Latin and international rhythms but is performed at a lower intensity. ” Not convinced? Many cardio rehabilitation and therapy centers use Zumba as a way to get geriatric care patients moving without feeling like they are exercising. After all, physical fitness is a major aspect of geriatric wellness and is a huge component to therapy and rehabilitation from major illnesses for ongoing conditions.

According to Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s article, Zumba Craze Attracts Older Adults, “a study in Japan, looking at women aged 72 to 87, found that those who participated in a dance exercise routine had improved balance, among other medical improvements.” As long as you are participating under the permission of your geriatric care physician or home health nurse, Zumba can be a fantastic way to stay physically active. Zumba isn’t just physically beneficial, it also helps with care of ones emotional state as well. A major cause of emotional turmoil for seniors is feeling lonely or left out. With Zumba, there is definitely a social aspect to the class. Participants are able to have fun and enjoy themselves with the company of five to 10 of their friends and classmates. In addition, the Today’s Geriatric Medicine article also mentions that members of the baby boomer generation are the original “party animals.” Zumba allows them to tap into their younger days of dancing and having fun with friends, encouraging good emotional care.

In addition, Zumba has mental benefits for geriatric care. While participating in Zumba, seniors can learn new dance moves and routines to keep them mentally sharp. While the routines stay the same for the month at a time or at the discretion of the instructor, seniors often learn new moves and more technical approaches to routines. As long as the senior’s geriatric care doctor or home health nurse approves Zumba, seniors can challenge themselves mentally while earning physical and mental benefits.

What other benefits for geriatric health do you see with Zumba participation?