Indian-Australian choreographer Ashley Lobo is a life-long advocate of movement related wellness. He believes dance is a doorway to physical, mental and emotional health. His message is particularly pertinent on September 29 which is observed as World Heart Day. This initiative by the World Heart Federation, aims to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease and stroke. Research has connected CVDs to sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, unbalanced diet, excessive use of tobacco and alcohol.
Ashley reminds that in India alone, the prevalence of CVDs is estimated to be around 54.5 million.
As individuals, we may not always be able to control ambient air pollution or other environmental risk factors but we can mitigate lifestyle risk factors, he says. We could eat healthier, cultivate better habits and yes, dance!
Says Ashley Lobo, “Dance, I always say, is not just about technique but also the heart and spirit. When you move to music, you shift the energy within and around you. However, there is research that shows us that dance is good for the heart as well. When you are dancing, you are working out, engaging multiple muscle groups, sweating it out just as you would if you were on a running track or in a gym. It really doesn’t matter how you dance, as long as you do!”
Ashley Lobo has students from many age groups and he recommends dancing as a means to not just find joy in every day ennui but to keep the heart pumping to the beat of good health and peppy music. He concludes, “Don’t forget that heart is an organ too that needs to be exercised. We all have access to music and if we start moving a little everyday, we will be happier and also dance our way to better heart health.”
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