According to a study of the New England Journal of Medicine dancing is the best activity for your body and mind.
They studied 75 and older senior citizens for a period of 21 years. During this period they tried to monitor the mental acuity in aging and also monitored the rates of dementia, including the Alzheimer's disease.
The study also compare different activities like playing tennis, golf, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise, doing housework or swimming. The surprise of the study was that almost none of the activities offer any protection against dementia. With only one exception - BALLROOM DANCING practiced frequently.
Ballroom dancing when practiced frequently reduces the risk of mental problems by 76%,
the best result from any other activity.
Bicycling, swimming and playing golf - 0%
Rading - 35%
Crossword puzzles - 47%
So why is Ballroom Dancing the best activity?
As we age our brain cells die and synapses weaken. That's why we constantly have to create new neuronal pathways to keep our brain sharp. There is a famous quote about this - "Use it or lose it!"
The essence of intelligence is making decisions. The best advice is to involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory (retracing the same well-worn paths), or just working on your physical style. That is what ballroom dancing does.
And who is the person who gets the biggest advantage in dancing - the leader or the follower? The study said that the followers usually need to make more split second decisions to adapt to their partners leading. That's why to follow is actually better than to lead.
What type of dance and how many times do i need to dance?
The study came to the conclusion that there is no certain dance that will help you to improve your mental activity. There are a variety of dance styles, so the more variety you have the better it is.
Another very important conclusion of the study was that it needs to be practiced frequently to have a real effect on people's well being.
So LET'S DANCE!