February 23, 2009

Doctors advocate dance for heart, balance

A Colorado doctor who is also a prize-winning dancer recommends dancing to patients and their spouses for its health, wellness and emotional benefits.

Dr. Carla Murphy, chief of staff of the emergency room at Exempla Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, Colo., says she often sees patients when they are experiencing results of poor eating and sedentary lifestyle. She says she frequently counsels patients on the benefits of dance.

Murphy has practiced what she preaches, winning 15 first-place awards at a regional dance competition last year.

Murphy touts the benefits of dance for heart health, improved posture, gracefulness and balance, muscle and joint strength, coordination, motivation and overall good health.

The fifth annual Day of Dance for Health, a nationwide event scheduled for Saturday, will have 70 communities around the country simultaneously dancing and learning about nutrition and how important it is to stay active for overall health. Dance lessons will be taught at each venue.

One 102-year-old woman says she has found her fountain of youth by dancing.

More information is available at www.dayofdance.org.