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Zorba' dance helps GREEK heart patients

Greek scientists have found getting heart failure patients up dancing traditional 'Zorba' dances improves their strength and endurance. Zorba is a Greek name meaning 'Live Each Day'. 

Zorba' dance helps heart patients

Traditional Greek dancing has been recommended as a life-enhancing treatment for older people with heart patients. traditional Greek dancing can have major health benefits. Taking it up allowed elderly patients who had suffered chronic heart failure to jump higher than their sedentary counterparts, a study found. The moves strengthened the legs of the participants, who had an average age of 73, allowing them to walk faster and further as well.

According to the Researcher Zacharias Vordos, from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, said: "Greek dancing is an important part of weddings and other celebrations, and is popular among older people.
"We believed dancing would increase the attractiveness of rehabilitation programmes for patients with chronic heart failure. This was the first study to assess the impact of traditional Greek dancing on jumping ability.
"Patients who participated in Greek dancing jumped higher at the end of the training programme, probably because they had stronger leg muscles."

The study include the averaged aged of 73 years old, in total of 40 Greek patients with chronic heart failure who were randomly assigned for the three months Greek dancing rehabilitation programme or continue their usual sedentary lifestyle. Exercise training took place at three municipal gyms, and consisted of three 40 to 65 minute weekly classes. 

At the beginning of the study, the researchers tested the participants' jumping ability, measuring both height and the speed. Measurements were also taken of leg muscle strength and endurance was assessed with a six-minute walking test.
After three months, the patients who learned Greek dancing were able to jump 10 per cent higher and six per cent faster than the sedentary patients.
They also had stronger legs and could walk further.
Greek dancing may also benefit the heart, Vordos added.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump blood efficiently around the body. 

Source: APP



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