Dancing Away Dementia
Get up and move! While I can already hear your protests of: “I don’t dance!” I am here to inform you that you do now! It does not matter if you are the worst dancer in the room or cannot keep a steady beat because studies have proven that dancing can be used as a key preventative measure in delaying and helping relieve the debilitating effects that come with Alzheimer’s disease.
How does dancing prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
While research provides evidence that dancing helps prevent Alzheimer’s diseases, it is important to start dancing regularly early and as often possible, as it helps to develop more neural paths in your brain. Dancing is unique because it involves different brain functions all at the same time through, Music, Emotions, Thought, Kinesthetic and the physical touch of your dance partner. Each of these functions in dance is handled differently by the brain and develops the different neural paths.
While there are several types of dance that incorporate the different brain functions, studies show that ballroom dancing is the most effective in the prevention.
Why is ballroom dancing more effective than other styles of dance?
Dance, especially ballroom dance and other forms that involve cooperation between two partners – one leading and the other following, or both following not just preset step, but having the ability to improvise – causes the very rapid-fire decision-making that forges new neural pathways. It was also found that seniors who changed dance partners more often had higher resistance to Alzheimer’s than those who didn’t change partners. This is most likely a result of having to learn to adjust to the different styles of each partner.
Improvements to cognitive function occur when we learn something new, something we haven’t done before. Studies have further supported that Ballroom dancing is more effective in combatting Alzheimer’s than crossword puzzles, reading, cycling, swimming, and golf.
Finally, remember that dancing is only beneficial if you: do it often. Seniors who did crossword puzzles four days a week had a measurably lower risk of dementia than those who did the puzzles once a week. If you can’t take classes or go out dancing four times a week, then dance as much as you can. More is ALWAYS better.
And do it TODAY! the sooner the better. It’s essential to start your fight against Alzheimer’s now. Don’t wait — start dancing!