Meet our Brain Health Champions – Doing it Right Spotlight: Physical Exercise
Meet Lynn & Oscar
Age: 71 and 59
Average combined BHI score: 78
Their key to keeping sharp? Ballroom dancing
Motto: Life is a dance: we live one day at a time, one step at a time so that we can live life to the fullest.
Picking the Perfect Partner: May I have this dance?
In 1994, at a ballroom competition Oscar, a lifelong dancer, spotted Lynn gracefully sashaying across the lighted, dance floor. Naturally, he asked her to dance. By luck, the couple met again at a dance academy where they became united as dance partners in ballroom competitions. Sparked by the romance and sacred touch of dance, they too, became partners in life.
Isn’t it romantic?
Lynn and Oscar tout dance as “art in motion”. This graceful couple believes dance allows them to nurture each other in a nonverbal way, allowing them to become one with each other and the music. “When we dance, we feel totally connected with each other, we have fun, losing sense of time which helps keep us in the present moment,”says Oscar.
1-2-3, Quick-Quick Slow, Cha-Cha-Cha!
Lynn and Oscar can feel the physical and mental benefits of dancing. To them it’s a form of exercise, therapy, creativity and fun. Science shows that they are right. Dancing, as exercise, increases blood flow to the body and brain, triggers the release of “happy” hormones/endorphins like serotonin and dopamine, challenges flexibility and balance and provides the psychological and physical benefits of touch. Along with these physical benefits, dance offers a fun way to actively socialize and challenge the brain with learning new steps and dance forms. Music provides its own unique benefit to the brain as it stimulates connections in multiple areas of the brain and provokes fond memories and feelings.
A Curtsy and a Bow for Brain Health
The dance floor provides the perfect stage for Lynn and Oscar to embrace a brain healthy lifestyle and promote healthy aging while ushering joy to their lives. For Lynn and Oscar, dance represents life. “It balances the psyche of a person: in mind, body and spirit,” says Oscar. “Life is not a dress rehearsal, so make it your best performance.”