Learning to Dance Keeps Your Brain Young

Posted on September 6, 2017

A new research has found that exercise is able to reduce or slow down the deterioration of mental and physical capacities due to aging. Of the two types of physical activities used in the study, dancing had a stronger effect, compared to endurance training exercises like cycling and Nordic walking.

The participants’ average age was 68. They attended weekly dance classes or endurance and flexibility training for 18 months. Brain scans showed that the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory, increased in size for the dancing group. The dancing group also had improved balance.

This could be because the endurance programme was repetitive, whereas participants in the dancing group were exposed to different styles of dance. Routines which including learning of steps, arm-patterns, speed and rhythms were changed every two weeks. The participants also had to recall the steps under time pressure and without any cues. Hence, learning to dance could be providing the extra benefits not found in endurance and flexibility training.

Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from PSYBLOG

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