Do you find yourself tapping your toes or snapping your fingers to lively music? Do you like to dance? Have you ever tried Zumba or Jazzercise?
Young or old, we all tend to respond almost automatically to music. And while one of my pet peeves is treating seniors like children, when it comes to music and movement, age just doesn’t matter in terms of finding ways to get active.
For little ones cooped up in the house this winter a dance party is just the cure. For seniors – guess what? Same deal. Little ones may be floating or marching or skipping around the room while someone who uses a wheelchair or with limited mobility may be responding only with their arms or marching in their seat. The result is the same – it feels good and you know it’s good for you!
Music makes us want to move. So, get a move on with music!
Keep reading for a few general tips to get your started:
- Songs that have a strong beat inspire marching and clapping. Use them!
- Keep the pace manageable. Songs that are too fast can create a frenzy with little ones and will likely annoy older adults.
- Provide variety. Start with something mid tempo. Pick up the pace and then add a waltz. Each will inspire a different type of movement.
- Keep the movement sessions short. For little ones this honors their short attention span. For elders it is respectful of their stamina.
- Make a simple plan and get the music ready ahead of time. For each song have a suggested movement ready and then be ready to follow their lead if they think of new ways to move.
- Be a leader. “Show” the music with enthusiastic gestures and by demonstrating.