They say that age is nothing more than a number. But no matter how young or old we may feel, there is no denying that our brains still age. As we age, approximately 40% of people over the age of 65 will experience some form of memory loss. However, recent studies show that exercise like dancing not only helps maintain a healthy and youthful body, but also your brain.
In addition to normal aging, conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's affect the brain even more as we age.
A study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, showed that dancing (compared to other physical activities) was overwhelmingly effective in reversing aging in the brain.
Dancing for your brain
If you like to go out and dance, or if you are a regular dance class attendee, it can help you improve your brain functionality in a number of ways. Dancing can be a powerful tool that allows new challenges for the body and mind.
The study in question examined MRI brain scans and their relationship between age-related brain degeneration. The study was conducted within 18 months and compared dance with different genres, such as jazz and Latin American, with traditional exercise.
Weekly dancing to special choreographies improves the brain
It found that in individuals with an average age of 68, their brain structure made dramatic improvements after participating in weekly choreographed dance routines. Dancing reverses the aging brain of the elderly.
The perceived increase in the area of the hippocampus of the brain due to dance exercises is exciting, as this region of the brain is best known for incurring age-related declines. Especially for those who can suffer from diseases like Alzheimer's, this is good news.
Get up and dance
The study showed the benefits of dancing extend far beyond strengthening the memory region (hippocampus) of the brain.
The research also showed that the choreographed dance routines also increased endurance, flexibility training, and balance.
As our bodies and brains grow, balance becomes the key to maintaining health and safety in many cases. Especially for those who are elderly, maintaining balance can be critical to serious injury.
Dancing combines aerobic fitness, sensorimotor skills, and cognitive demands, while also having a low risk of injury. For this reason, dancing appears to be an activity that promises to be beneficial in improving balance and brain structure.
Dancing balances brain structure in the elderly
Dancing appears to be a promising intervention to improve balance and brain structure in the elderly. It combines aerobic fitness, sensory skills, and cognitive demands, while at the same time the risk of injury is low
The researchers believe that improvements in balance may be related to difficulty coordinating steps and arm patterns along with changes in speed and rhythm that occur when learning choreography.
We now know that dance can be a great way to maintain and improve many of your brain's functions. There is no better time to start dancing like no one is watching than now. Your brain will thank you later!
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