We all love dancing, we’ve loved it for centuries and millennia. It doesn’t matter if you’re god at it or you suck, we love the way it makes us feel and we do it whenever we can,
Aside from making us feel good, dancing is a good physical exercise as well, one that involves every muscle in your body. But did you know that dancing is also good for your brain? It turns out that it’s good for strengthening and protecting your brain, so it’s recommended for your mental state as well.
Age-related diseases like dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are on top of the list of many researchers who try to find a way to slow down the aging process and reverse the effects of these diseases on the brain. Latest studies reveal that dancing can actually protect your brain from these diseases, probably thanks to the coordinated movements, infectious music and stamina boost your body receives while you dance.
If you still aren’t sure how dancing can help you achieve optimal mental health here are a few reasons that might convince you:
- Perpetual Learning
In a study conducted by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, with Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld as its lead scientist, a group of elderly patients were instructed to follow different exercise routines for the duration of 18 months. One group was cycling, another was instructed to do Nordic walking and one group had dancing as a physical activity. The dancing group was given a new thing to perform every week, a new step or routine and showed no difference, while the other groups exhibited an increase in the hippocampus, an area of the brain first to suffer under the effects of age-related diseases.
- Better Memory
While you dance your brain makes connection between remembering the dancing routines and performing them, boosting memory and neuronal connections.
- Music Encourages Brain Activity
And it’s not just dancing, music plays a vital role in this as well. For years scientists have been exploring the effects of music on the human brain and have discovered it has a very positive effect, especially in when the brain starts to decline. Music activates your brain’s reward centers and as you start to dance your sensory and motor circuits get activated.
According to studies conducted on patients suffering from Parkinson’s dancing can slow down the disease progression and improve the patients’ balance. It also slowed down the motor control decline.
- Improved Balance and Coordination
As we age we find it more difficult to keep balance and coordination so naturally we can get dizzy, stagger and even fall down, risking an injury. But dancing can improve all of this because when you dance:
- You use different groups of muscles, strengthening them and improving your mobility and balance
- With regards to dizziness, dancing involves moves like turns, spins, quick side-to-side and up and down, all of which train your inner ear and brain to easily deal with sharp and quick movements and changes.
- To dance you need to be coordinated and your muscles need to know how to move per instructions coming from your memory. This develops and nurtures the connection between your brain and muscles.
It Just Feels So Good
Dancing just makes us feel so happy, it makes us smile and feel good about ourselves which is always a good thing. If something makes you happy how can it not be a good thing?
- Dancing is good for your physical health, activates all the muscles, joints and bones in your body.
- It helps you burn calories and stay fit
- It connects people
- It relieves stress
- It prevents cognitive decline and age-related diseases
- It makes us happy
So what are you waiting for? Put on your best dancing shoes and go be happy!
Article and image source: checkthesethings.com