(NBC News) Less than half of Hispanic and Latino adults in the United States get the recommended 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, but an experimental exercise program may help encourage Latinos, and others, to get moving by tapping into a rich cultural past.
David Marquez and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Chicago developed a dance program for senior Latinos, a group that tends to have higher levels of Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure.
"We targeted our program to group of under-served people who tend to have great levels of health disparities," Marquez says.
After four months of the merengue, cha cha, bachata and salsa the older dancers walked faster and improved their overall physical fitness.
And of course, you don't have to be Latino to benefit.
Jimmy Au is taking classes at the age of 77.
"When I dance I basically, I forgot how old I am," he says.