Upbeat woman dancing with arms lifted

A new study suggests that dancing leads to better health and fitness, as well as self-esteem among women after menopause.

Women transitioning through menopause frequently struggle with weight management and health risk factors like high cholesterol, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Combined, these body changes increase the risk of cardiovascular issues. During this time, women tend to be less physically active, thus reducing their lean body mass and leading to an increased risk of fractures or falls. This can affect mental health and well-being as well.

Physical activity, such as dance therapy, has been shown to lessen some of these health problems related to menopause, as well as improve self-esteem. While the sample size of the study was small, the study suggested some benefits of a three-times-weekly dance regimen in improving the lipid profile, the functional fitness of postmenopausal women, and their self-image and self-esteem.

“This study highlights the feasibility of a simple intervention, such as a dance class three times weekly, for improving not only fitness and metabolic profile but also self-image and self-esteem in postmenopausal women. In addition to these benefits, women also probably enjoyed a sense of comradery from the shared experience of learning something new,” Stephanie Faubion, M.D., NAMS medical director.

The study was published online in Menopause, the journal of NAMS.