This not news: falling is a huge huge health risk as we age.
It starts kicking up in our forties and it gets progressively worse as we get older especially as we pass into our late 70s and 80s.
Because of all the complications that can ensure from a fall starting with the scariest, namely an increased risk of death but also including permanent significant pain, disability, loss of function, as well as brain injury with its attendant future risks of mood disorders, cognitive decline, personality changes, and you-name-it.
You really don’t want to fall, in other words.
So as we age, we need to improve our ever diminishing sense of balance to minimize the risk of stumbling and then falling, and to that end, in an interesting very small study, researchers compared 2 methods to improve balance: an ordinary walking regime and some dance classes, which included both mambo and cha-cha, that simple step that they say that anyone can master (except me – you really don’t want to see me cha-cha, never mind mambo).
And – ta da – the dance classes were significantly superior to the walking, not to mention that the dancing also seemed to improve some measures of brain health.
So, if you want a nice sociable aerobically-rich way to improve your balance and your brain, why not go to some dance classes.
One word of warning, though: you really really really want to make sure that your kids are not attending the same classes.
Your inevitable loss of self-esteem would result in far more suffering than the gains you would achieve from improving your balance.