Get Out and Dance!
Did you know that when you are dancing you are maintaining and improving your brain function? As you are having fun, gaining new skills, meeting new people you are also preserving your thinking skills and memory. Moving also makes you feel younger.
Studies have documented brain cell growth in individuals who exercise. In fact, a research study conducted at the Colorado State University reviewed three specific types of exercise including walking, stretching and balancing and dancing. Participants were given a brain scan before and after the testing period. With the participants working out three times per week with their assigned exercise routine, only the dancer group showed improvements in cognitive function.
A second study conducted by Columbia University and published in Scientific America in 2008 also showed the benefit of dancing. This study conducted PET scans on participants while they were dancing. PET is a functional imaging technique that shows the parts of the brain activated during a particular activity. The study noted two specific outcomes, first that music stimulates the brain’s reward center and second, that dance activities the sensory and motor circuits of the brain.
Finally, a 2003 study found in the New England Journal of Medicine reviewed eleven different kinds of physical activities. The study found that only dancing lowered participants’ risk of dementia. The reason? Dancing involves mental stimulation and social interaction. These are two types of stimulation known to reduce dementia.
Dancing – not only is enjoyable and social, but it also helps us to feel young and improve our brain health. Therefore, I recommend to everybody – Get out there and DANCE!
Liz Tuttle, MD
Columbus Wellness Medicine, LLC
3807 Attucks Dr. Powell, OH 43065