Moving to music over 60 

Moving to music is beneficial to both physical and mental health. It is an especially good way of staying fit and well for the over-60s. Arlene Phillips helps explain why.

Find out how to get fit without the gym

Transcript of Moving to music over 60

I love to dance.

It's the most feelgood thing that you can do in life,

express yourself through dance.

(# country music)

I teach a line dance class for people that are retired.

It's great, like low-impact aerobics.

And it's great for socialising.

It can make you laugh, it can lift you,

and people are finding new lives through dance

because they've got out and they're meeting people.

Older adults need to think of activity as fun,

purposeful, exciting, challenging, not something that's boring.

I think that's the message we must get to older people.

Not "You can't do it."

"You can do anything if you want to do it."

When they say, "You go dancing?"

They think because you're old you can't dance, but we can.

It makes you feel young.

When you're an old woman and you can dance it makes you feel young.

My top tip for healthy old age is moving to music.

The reasons for that are

that we get the benefits of physical activity as we move to music

and that really helps with strength, with balance,

and the exercise that's involved

also helps reduce our chances of getting heart attacks, strokes and some cancers.

I've had a hip operation and the other one's a bit dodgy,

but being on the move helps the pain.

A lot of people are frightened of moving because it hurts, but you need to move.

And then there's the benefit of company.

You can move to music on your own.

There's no harm in doing that if you're on your own

and you're sitting at home with some music on.

It's great to do the exercises.

But for many people, the main benefit and the main reason people keep going

is the company that's involved.

I was on my own, I thought, "I've got to get out and do something."

As I said, I really missed dancing

and I thought, "Line dancing, it's the best thing."

I do it twice a week and I just love it.

I come here and I like the company,

have a laugh and a joke with them, take the mickey.

I love it.

Dance is not only good for the body,

because any form of exercise is good for the body,

but it also helps your brain.

So it's a great thing to do physical activity.

Why music, though?

The benefits of music are additional because it activates the brain.

The brain connects and it sets up neural circuits moving in the mind,

which is really good at keeping the mind alert as well.

(# country music)

I think it keeps your brain going, makes you remember things.

Whatever dance you're doing, you've got to concentrate, think of the next step.

Sometimes you get your feet muddled up.

I look and say, "My God, you're all doing it wrong,"

knowing it's me, but I won't give in.

Some of the steps, most of us, if they're complicated dances,

it takes us weeks to think of them

and then you find we're all facing the wrong wall because we've done it wrong,

but it's a laugh and we enjoy it and eventually you do pick up the steps.

That company that you get, as well,

is tremendous for your mental health, for combating depression.

I got depressed at home

and dancing and coming here was one of the things to get me on my feet again.

I do love dancing.

I like to be happy, doing something that I really love, which is dancing.

Dance makes you feel good.

If you hear music and you move to that music,

whether you want to sway, clap a rhythm, stamp a rhythm,

it expresses everything that you want to express.

Every emotion can be expressed through dance.

But if you want to make yourself feel good, put the music on and dance.

It lifts your spirits.

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