Study results published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), suggests that dancing may lower cholesterol levels, improve fitness, improve body composition and improve self-esteem in postmenopausal women.
Postmenopausal women are more likely to experience weight gain, body adiposity increases and metabolic disturbances, such as bad cholesterol. As a result, they often suffer from decreased self-image and self-esteem, which are directly related to overall mental health.
The study analyzed the effects of dance on body composition, metabolic profile, functional fitness and self-image/self-esteem in postmenopausal women. A total of 36 postmenopausal participants (mean age 57 years) danced three times per week for 90 minutes each day. The researchers evaluated body fat and lean mass, blood lipids, functional fitness, self-image and self-esteem before and after 16 weeks.
The "dance intervention" was found to be effective in improving the women's lipid profile and functional fitness, as well as their self-image and self-esteem. Although the sample size was very small, the results suggest that this type of physical activity can be beneficial for both physical and mental wellness.
"This study highlights the feasibility of a simple intervention, such as a dance class three times weekly, for improving not only fitness and metabolic profile but also self-image and self-esteem in postmenopausal women. In addition to these benefits, women also probably enjoyed a sense of camaraderie from the shared experience of learning something new," said Stephanie Faubion, MD, NAMS medical director.