Though dancing is certainly fantastic exercise for your body physically, did you also know that it’s fabulous for toning your brain as well? According to the New England Journal of Medicine, studies have found that dancing increases cognitive activity, and subsequently decreases the risk of developing dementia. And based on a reading of these results by Stanford University, dancing frequently reduces the risk of dementia by 76% –considerably more than any other activity studied, including reading. The reason for this is that dancing requires you to make “split-second, rapid-fire decisions,” basically with every step you take. These kind of exercises have been shown to increase and maintain brain function in people of all ages. According to Stanford, “In freestyle social dancing, both men and women are spontaneously open to the infinite possibilities of the moment, responding to one’s partner and to the music.”
In addition to aiding in safe-guarding your brain against dementia, dancing also provides other mental health benefits. Each step toward being a better dancer also often correlates with an increase in self-esteem. It makes stressful social situations much easier to handle, provides a medium for self-expression, as well as stress and tension relief, and assists in providing a forum to meet and form bonds with people who have similar interests (Dancing!). So, believe it or not, dancing works and improves your body mentally as much as, and sometimes even more than, it does physically.
Dancing reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by up to 70%