Dancing is one of the best things you can do for your brain, especially if you continue to learn new steps and dance moves. The seventh cause of dementia on Sharp Again Naturally’s list is “Inadequate physical activity, mental stimulation and social interaction,” and dancing addresses all three of these and is fun too!
Not only does dancing help keep your memory sharp, it also improves balance and reverses the signs of aging in the brain.1 I remember Norman and Bess, my 90-year old grandfather and his second wife, going dancing in Miami Beach once a week. A study published last year in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, shows that older people who routinely partake in physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect.2
Music has long been known to stimulate Alzheimer’s patients, and in a 2008 article in Scientific American magazine, a Columbia University neuroscientist posited that “synchronizing music and movement—dance, essentially—constitutes a ‘pleasurable double play.’ Music stimulates the brain’s reward centers, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits.” Much of the research on dance as a physical activity shows benefits that range from memory improvement to strengthened neuronal connections.3
And if you need more convincing, a 2003 study showed that of the many active leisure activities we engage in — and they all provide some benefit to the body—only dance lowered participants’ risk of dementia.3 According to AARP, dancing can protect brain tissue, improve focus and help navigational skills. They suggest doctors some day “may actually prescribe that you put on your dancing shoes.”4
And now you can!
Sharp Again Naturally is hosting the Sharp Again Soirée on July 11, 2018 in White Plains, NY. For those of you who can join us, you’ll have a ball dancing to a classic rock band while eating delicious and healthy food and taking part in a 50-50 raffle, silent auction and wine pull. There’s even a strolling mentalist during cocktail hour. For more information and tickets, go to https://sansoiree.eventbrite.com. We hope to see you there, dancing the night away!