A Tango from Heart

A Tango from Heart

     “According to a Canadian University, Dancing Tango is Heart Healthy and Improves

Motor Skills.” The study conducted among people between 68 and 91years of age, also demonstrated improved coordination and balance.

  

It is no longer just a matter of fashion and characteristic claim from the people of Buenos Aires, repeated passionately by their adoring disciples. Tango is good for one’s health and following a study conducted by McGill University in Montreal, Canada, science has confirmed it.

 

Under the direction of Dr. Patrica McKinley, a test conducted with 30 people between 68 and 91years of age proved that this typically Argentinean dance has therapeutic properties; so much so that the study was able to demonstrate that during the chords of a well-played song by Osvaldo Pugliese’s orchestra or the Sexteto Mayor- just to name some personal favorites- physiological mechanisms come into play which help to prevent cardiac diseases as well as to improve motor skills.

 

The objective of these professionals at the center of these Canadian studies was to see what goes on with older people upon receiving the stimulation inherent in a dance as energetic and sensual as the tango.

 

The selection of this musical genre was no coincidence. A study conducted at the end of last year by the International Society of Cardiology revealed that dancing tango, salsa or meringue helps to lower blood pressure and prevent the occurrence of cardiac diseases. In the end, these results were similar to those obtained by the Argentine professionals of the Favaloro Foundation, conducted by the doctor and ex-professional soccer goalie, Roberto Piedro, who , in 1999 undertook a study on 10 couples in their fifties and demonstrated that dancing tango has similar value to other measures recommended to patients to prevent cardiac diseases.

 

“Any movement to music stimulates the brain. The fact of coordinating  arms and legs to the rhythm o music is very stimulating because it involves intrinsic effort,” explains the psychogeriatrician, Haydee Andres, Professor of Mental Health in the Department of Medicine.

 

Just as walking is not the same as running, it is not the same to dance a tango as it is to dance a waltz. So, off to tango which, contributes to health as well as providing enjoyment.

 

Aside from working to improve their motor coordination, older people should try to avoid bone injuries, which are so often caused by falls in the home.

 

Below are some guidelines to which people over 65 years of age should adhere:

 

                   -Place light switches in reachable/easy-access locations.

                   -Avoid lose area rugs

                   -Use cordless phones

                   -In the kitchen, use easy-access cupboards to avoid having to

                    reach or climb.

                   -In the bathroom, install night lights and raised toilet seats (use risers)

                   -Place anti-slip mats in showers as well as putting up to several bars for

                    support

                   -In the living room, use anti-slip rugs. Moquette rugs are the best.

                   -Both indoor and outdoor staircases should be well-lit and have solid

                     handrails. If possible, it is recommendable to put up handrails on both

                     sides in order to have a firm grip.

 

     Did you know?

 

     In 1999, the Favaloro Foundation came to the conclusion that dancing tango three

     times per week for between forty-five minutes and an hour decreases one’s resting

     heart rate and increases the amount of blood that the heart pumps with each beat.

     In terms of the circulatory system, benefits include the reduction of blood pressure

     as well as the formation of arterial clots.

 

Reproduced from the magazine B.A Tango, March 2006

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