How dancing can help ward off dementia

If you're looking for a fun and effective way to stave off dementia as you age, dancing can help. You'll get to learn and keep your mind sharp, while having fun and being social with other people.

How dancing can help ward off dementia

How dancing can improve your brain function as you age

If you are looking for fun ways to counteract the effects of ageing and improve your memory and cognitive function, you should consider taking up dance.

  • As most people's age, their brain function declines.
  • Mental decline usually happens because brain cells die and the synapses, which help a person to remember specific commands and events, lose connections over the years.
  • Brain cell death and the weakening of the synapses can be delayed by being more active.

A study, conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, tracked the effects of dancing in relation to the risks of developing dementia.

  • The study found that elderly individuals who regularly danced as a leisurely activity over a period of 21 years significantly decreased their risk of developing dementia.

Why It Works

  • Although some mental decline is inevitable, an ageing person who takes up dancing is able to stop the death of their brain cells and sustain the connections of synapses.
  • Dancing boosts cognition and memory because of the mental and physical effort to think about the task of dancing and executing that task.
  • Also, as a person learns a new dance, their mind becomes stimulated and produces new pathways to process and remember the new dance steps.

Frequency

There have been other studies performed that reiterate the positive effects of dancing.

  • According to Linda Rao of Prevention, elderly individuals who participated in dance at least four times per week decreased their risk of developing dementia by 76%.
  • Stanford Dance also says that dancing is not only good for improving the memory of senior citizens, but it is also able to increase the mental functioning of people of all ages.

Other Benefits

Memory is not the only thing that dancing improves. Dancing can also decrease stress and promote relaxation.

  • Stress is significantly reduced and relaxation is induced via the production of serotonin, which is the body's natural feel good hormone and pain reliever.
  • It assists in promoting a person's well-being from the inside out and dancing is also a great way to stay in shape, because it can boost a person's heart rate while assisting in the prevention of muscle break down.
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