Ballroom Dancing Improves Heart Health

It has been pointed out that there is not such a notion “It’s too late now to think of an exercise program”.
Researchers led by Dr. Romualdo Belardinelli, director of cardiac rehabilitation from the Lancisi heart Institute in Ancona, Italy took a close look at 110 patients with stable chronic heart failure. The average age of the patients was 59 years and 89 of them were men. The group was assigned different physical activities. Forty-four patients used an exercise bike or exercise treadmill three times a week for 8 weeks. Forty- four other patients chose to participate in 21-minutes of ballroom dancing consisting of waltzes (alternating slow and fast) three times per week. A third group of 22 patients had no exercise. Heart rates during exercise training and dancing were similar at 110 respectively 113 beats per minute. Cardiopulmonary fitness improved at a similar rate in both groups. Oxygen consumption increased by 16 % in the exercise group and by 18% in the dance group. In other words, exercise fitness had significantly improved in these two groups.

Quality of life as measured by the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire improved significantly more in the ballroom dance group, particularly in the emotional domain.

Ballroom Dancing Improves Heart Health

Ballroom Dancing Improves Heart Health

The findings are not just of significance to patients with heart failure. It is the observation that ballroom dancing seems to be a more effective way to get people into an exercise program who otherwise would not be interested in this. For some people it is simply more enjoyable to dance and enjoy social interaction as an additional benefit than running on a treadmill.

More information is available about:

1. Fitness: http://nethealthbook.com/health-nutrition-and-fitness/fitness/

2. Health for adults: http://nethealthbook.com/health-adults/

3. Health for seniors: http://nethealthbook.com/health-seniors/

Reference: The Medical Post Dec. 19, 2006, page 17

Last edited November 2, 2014