Dancing is one of our favorite activities. There is nothing better than feeling free on the dance floor and letting the music wash over you. Did you know that dancing has more benefits than just the obvious physical ones?
Research has shown that dancing may boost your memory and help prevent dementia as you age. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists found that aerobic exercise can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. During late adulthood, the hippocampus naturally starts to shrink, which may lead to impaired memory and dementia. Dancing helps with aerobic exercise and the need to remember steps.
Are you stressed? Do you need a way to relax and feel the tension leave your body? According to a research paper that was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, researchers found that participants performing a partner dance and musical accompaniment had their stress levels reduced.
As we age, many of us tend to lose our sense of balance. Research is being done to find the correlation between dance and better balance. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity suggests tango dancing can improve balance in aging adults. Dancing requires a lot of fast movement and excellent posture. The more you dance, the better control of your body you will have, and you will help stabilize your balance.
Taking dance classes and going out to dance will increase your circle of friends. Researchers believe those with an active social life tend to have reduced stress, increased happiness, and a stronger immune system. Along with a stronger immune system, dancing aids in weight loss. Dancing is just as helpful for losing weight and increasing aerobic power as cycling and jogging. Studies have been done with the results showing that dancing is also great for your heart. Waltzing helped improve heart health, breathing, and quality of life compared to biking and treadmill walking with test subjects who had heart failure.
Research into using dance as a therapy for ailments such as Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, and others has been found to have a host of advantages with very few risks. Research has shown that dancing greatly reduces your chance of developing dementia.
So grab a partner, get out on the dance floor. You don’t have to be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; instead, have some fun and get some great health benefits!