Dance for Better Brain Health

If they can do it, so can I, right?!!

According to the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute dance “has such beneficial effects on the brain that it is now being used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological movement disorder.”

Actually both music and the coordinated movements (in other words dancing) seem to play a role in brain health. While music activates the brain’s reward centers, dance stimulates sensory and motor pathways.

In 2003, a study published  by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the New England Journal of Medicine  showed  that dance produces a definite benefit for brain health. Examining the benefit  leisure activities had on the risk of dementia, the study found that of all the activities studied (dance, cycling, golf, swimming, tennis and more) only dance proved to be protective against dementia. 

In a small 2012 study at North Dakota’s Minot State University the Latin-style dance/exercise program, Zumba, was shown to improve mood, visual recognition and decision-making skills.

Further studies demonstrate that dance can help us reduce stress, feel happier by boosting serotonin, and develop neuronal plasticity, the brains ability to make new connections at any age. 

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