Your BRIDGE back to being active at every age and stage

Cara with client, Judy

Dance … a Great Alternative to Sports for Physical and Mental Well-being

The theme for this week … dancing and feet

Yes, you know being active is important for both physical and mental health, but sports may not be your thing. Many people find dancing, of any variety, to be a better fit. Read on …

Dance and health

Dance can be a great alternative to sports as a way to be physically active and emotionally engaged with others. This is true for all ages!

For children

This 2022 publication outlines the benefits of dance for children and adolescents. But remember parents, sometimes those year-end performances are too stressful, so gauge your child’s needs and keep it fun!

The physiological and psychological benefits of dance and its effects on children and adolescents: a systematic review

For adults

Even more stunning are the range of benefits for adults. Not only is dance fun, there are health benefits in the domains of:

  • cardio-respiratory health
  • balance reactions
  • bone health
  • emotional well-being
  • cognitive health

This following 2020 publication offers a more complete discussion.

Promoting wellbeing and health through active participation in music and dance: a systematic review

You will see how we looked at additional physical relationships related to dance in the follow-up video with Judy.

Insight of the week from Cara

How well does your body support the activity you enjoy?

You may have a pain or concern which keeps you from joining the pickle ball craze, or other activities with friends. Is it your shoulder, hip, back, endurance, balance, feet, or knees? What else could you do to be active and have fun?

Or, your child avoids sports and other physical activities saying they don’t like them. What is another way to keep them active and engaged with other children?

What are some of the reasons you may not feel comfortable with physical activity?

We find consistent micromovement disruptors with our clients who really do want to move better.

Categorically, the disruptors are:

  • Injuries and accidents
  • Medical procedures (like surgery)
  • Illness (especially respiratory)
  • Early life and birth (movements were impacted from the beginning)

Bridging uniquely identifies impacted micromovement relationships and then re-sets them so you/your child are back to moving.

Dance is a great option!

Many of our clients have found dance to be a wonderful activity option. There are many varieties with varying skill levels.

The benefits of dance are similar to sports — cardio, balance, endurance, social-emotional, and cognitive.

You can find dance in most communities in places ranging from a studio and park district to churches and performance centers.

Stories from our sessions … Knees connecting to feet

In many cultures, feet are a source of well-being. Well-functioning feet are one thing, but we found in the featured Bridging® session that feet also need to interact well with the knees and hips.

What is going on with Judy’s feet and knees?

Micromovement disruptors

What’s happened to Judy and when?

  • Birth/Early life: Corrective shoes at young age (implies early leg/foot movement quirk)
  • Injury/Accident: dislocated knee (age 39)
  • Illness: none of significance
  • Medical procedures/surgeries: hip replacement surgery (2 and 3 years ago)

The flow of movement from feet to knees and hips is important!

Goal: Improve ability to dance with less stress to knees

Dancing is Judy’s outlet, but her knees have been a concern for years. So far, she’s managed to avoid knee replacement by keeping active.

When we met two months ago, her core was not interacting with her legs and knees as well as it could. She was able to move more fluently from the first Bridging session, but her knees were still feeling stressed.

In addition to the core, the other partner to good knee function is the feet. As you’ll see, in this video session we worked with the feet-knee interactions. It was really interesting to see how the stress between her feet and knees melted away.

The best was her surprise at how grounded and flexible her feet felt at the end, especially given that the work was very gentle.

Have a look!