If you’re looking for the sport of a lifetime, may I suggest ballroom dancing? Sure, there’s golf and tennis and power walking and a host of other healthy ways to spend your time, but there is an unexpected benefit you only get from ballroom dancing. [Related: The Top 5 Reasons I Love Ballroom Dancing]
Ballroom dancing burns calories. It improves coordination and core strength. It reduces stress. It makes you happy. And it makes you smarter because engaging in dynamic brain functions, like learning patterns and memorizing choreography, paves the way for new neural pathways, which increases cognition, memory and overall mental acuity.
I’ve been ballroom dancing for three years and I am thrilled to report I am in the best physical and mental condition since giving birth to my first child some twenty-five years ago. I’m stronger, fitter, suffer with less joint pain, manage stress and anxiety better, am happier and spend far less time 1) looking for my car keys and 2) standing in the pantry, staring blankly at its contents and wondering why I’m there. As if that’s not enough to make you run out and purchase your first 10-pack of lessons and a pair of suede-soled pumps, let me tell you about the unexpected benefit of ballroom dancing.
If you’re a “mature” woman, you’ve probably felt that unmistakable warm sensation in your underpants; a sign that your aging bladder has failed you. Again. We’ve all had those embarrassing episodes induced by heavy lifting, jumping, sneezing, coughing, laughing or when your son amuses himself by leaping at you like a puma from some hiding place simply to watch you race to the bathroom while shrieking, “Somebody get me a clean pair of underwear.” Again.
Sure. We joke about it – have panty shields will travel – but urinary incontinence is a humiliating and distressful reality for 30 to 70 percent of the women who roam the earth. Sadly, most of us simply accept it as an unfortunate inevitability of growing older. I know I did. Until I started ballroom dancing.
I can’t recall exactly when it happened, but I no longer have bladder control issues. I did kegal exercise for years. Nothing. Started ballroom dancing and I quit wetting my pants. Seriously. I recently discovered the extra pair of panties I carry in my purse (just in case) had been there for weeks, maybe even months and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d wet my pants. I racked my brain, but couldn’t remember and that’s when it occurred to me. My urinary incontinence had completely eradicated itself. POOF! Like magic. One day I just stopped wetting my pants.
If you think I’m making this up, I’m not. You can ask my gynecologist. According to her, I currently have the pelvic floor of a thirty-year old, thank you very much. “What have you been doing?” she asked at my last appointment. “Ballroom dancing,” I replied.
So ladies, there’s golf and tennis and power walking and a host of other healthy ways to spend your time, but as for me, I’m sticking with ballroom dancing. I suggest you do the same.
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