If you thought that that pole dancing was only for the young or for lady strippers, think again. Increasingly more women in their 40s and 50s are taking up pole dance fitness. They come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. And, they cite the many physical and mental health benefits as the most important reason for their attraction to this form of exercise.
Physical Health Benefits
1. Muscle Mass and Metabolism. As we age, we lose muscle mass. Loss of muscle, in turn, slows down our metabolism and causes us to gain weight. Pole dance fitness requires a tremendous amount of core, upper and lower body strength. Squats, lunges, pole holds and similar exercises rapidly build muscle mass. This ultimately translates into strong, lean muscles and weight loss.
2. Bone Density. Loss of bone density is a major health concern for menopausal women. Research has shown that regular “weight-bearing” exercise builds bone mass and maintains bone strength. Pole dance fitness is principally a weight-bearing form of exercise. It requires one to utilize various muscles throughout the body to carry, control and hold their own body weight. This has the effect of building bone tissue.
3. Joint Elasticity. Decreased joint elasticity leads to loss of motion and is another area concern for aging women. An important aspect of pole dance fitness is flexibility training. Thoroughly stretching the legs, back, shoulders and neck are an essential component of warming-up. Additionally, many of the dance moves incorporate stretches. This has the effect of improved joint elasticity, better posture and increased mobility.
Mental Health Benefits
1. Pain, Stress, Anxiety and Depression Relief. Research shows that during exercise, the body releases a chemical called endorphins. Endorphins are thought to reduce the perception of pain, relieve stress and reduce anxiety and depression. It is believed that dancing is one form of exercise that aids in relieving and managing these symptoms. Indeed, many older pole dancers report feeling significantly healthier and happier.
2. Confidence and Self-Esteem. When beginning pole dance, most older women face many physical challenges. Through regular practice and persistence, these challenges are overcome one by one. And, as they begin to lose weight, look leaner, have better balance and coordination, and feel physically stronger, they enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment. This greatly boosts confidence and self-esteem. Nearly all women report feeling amazingly more alive, attractive and sexy.
With such important physical and mental health benefits, it is no wonder that so many lady Baby Boomers are undertaking pole dance fitness!
As always, if you are over 40 and/or have certain medical conditions, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before beginning any exercise program.