The exhilaration expressed by Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady when she sang, “I could have danced all night” hints at the jubilation your brain experiences when you dance. So, can cutting the rug can really boost your brain health? Mounting scientific evidence seems to support this fanciful idea.
Prescription for Ballroom
Researchers in Greece recently investigated the cognitive effects of international ballroom dancing on people (age 55 to 77) diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (the early stages of Alzheimer’s). The subjects were divided into two groups – one participated in regular ballroom dancing for 10 months and the other did not. At the end of the study, the dancing group performed better on neuropsychological tests than the sedentary group.The scientists concluded dance may be a form of “medicine” for brain health. Let’s Cha-Cha-Cha to that!
What could dancing have to do with it?
As a physical, mental and emotional activity, dancing stimulates several areas of the brain combining several of the 6 Pillars of Brain Health into one, fun exercise. The mental challenge in learning new dance steps, the social stimulation from dancing with friends or a partner, and the emotional stimulation of music all play a role in making you and your brain feel good.
Make time for tango
Ready to dance your way to better brain health?
- Grab a friend or partner and find a local dance studio that offers lessons.
- “Electric Slide” your way on the dance floor at your next wedding or Bat Mitzvah.
- Two left feet or a little shy? Turn the music on in your living room and let loose!
Either way, your brain and body will Two-Step together in perfect rhythm.
For more information and tips on exercises for better brain health, visit healthybrains.org/pillar-physical.
Need more motivation to perfect your dance moves? Read more evidence at https://healthybrains.org/put-dancing-shoes-ward-off-dementia/