• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Brazilian dance better than other exercises to boost lower limb strength: report


Jan 6, 2024


Difference could be because Brazilian dance program involved movements like those in STS test

A representational picture shows a group of senior people attending a dance class. — Unsplash
A representational picture shows a group of senior people attending a dance class. — Unsplash

A Brazilian dance exercise program significantly improved lower limb strength in Parkinson’s disease patients compared to Nordic walking or deep-water exercise but didn’t impact motor performance, cognitive function, or quality of life, according to a clinical trial report.

It has been emphasised by experts that regular physical activity, tailored to individual needs, is a cost-effective and effective method for easing symptoms and improving mobility, cognition, and life quality, Parkinson’s Disease Today reported.

A wide range of types of exercise have shown to be safe, engaging, and beneficial for Parkinson’s patients, including Nordic walking, Brazilian dance, and deep-water exercise.

The study was published in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

Nordic walking, which involves walking with poles, promotes better brain and muscle activation, while deep-water exercise in a pool and traditional Brazilian dance improves balance and gait.

Scientists compared the three exercise regimens among 83 less-sedentary Parkinson’s patients to previous studies focusing on sedentary patients.

They were aged 50 and older, were on stable medications and could walk independently, with mild to moderate functional disability.

Participants were randomly assigned to take part in a 12-week program of Nordic walking, deep-water exercise, or Brazilian dance but researchers found no significant improvements in motor function at the end of the program.

However, Brazilian dance was associated with significant improvements in the sit-to-stand (STS) test, a measure of lower limb strength, compared to the other two activities.

The difference could be because the Brazilian dance program involved movements like those in the STS test, like standing from a sitting position, then sitting back down again and repeating it five times in a row as fast as possible.

The movement was part of the beginning and end of each dance class, according to the scientists.

Scientists have found no significant changes in motor or cognitive symptoms in Parkinson’s patients, despite the lack of significant findings.

They believe that 12 weeks may not be enough time for meaningful gains and suggest further research should explore the different responses among Parkinson’s subtypes to advance understanding and tailor interventions for each subgroup.

The study suggests that investigating the continuity of these responses over longer periods is valuable.


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