We see from the research that dancing provides the heart-healthy benefits of an aerobic exercise. However, dancing is truly unique because it also allows you to engage in a social activity. Dancing is especially stimulating to the mind. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine even found dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.
According to the article “The Health Benefits of Dancing” referring to the New England Journal of Medicine study, Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly,
Participants over the age of 75 who engaged in reading, dancing and playing musical instruments and board games once a week had a 7 percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who did not. Those who engaged in these activities at least 11 days a month had a 63 percent lower risk.
Interestingly, dancing was the only physical activity out of 11 in the study that was associated with a lower risk of dementia. Said Joe Verghese, a neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a lead researcher of the study, “This is perhaps because dance music engages the dancer’s mind.”
Verghese found that dancing can provide three benefits for the brain. First, the physical aspect of dancing increases blood flow to the brain. Second, the social aspect of the activity leads to less stress, depression and loneliness. Third, dancing requires memorizing steps and working with a partner, both of which provide mental challenges that are crucial for brain health.
How many hobbies do you know that stimulate both your body and your brain? Talk about multitasking!
Liked this article? Please share with your friends and “like” us on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to check out our calendar of events, weight loss calculator, 3D body mass index, food calorie counter, and exercise calorie calculator.