We’ve all heard by now that lifestyle habits like aiming for better sleep can help to keep your brain sharp. But, according to one study, so can dancing.
The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that getting footloose on a regular basis is linked with a 76 percent reduction in dementia risk — about as much as playing board games or a musical instrument. Other physical activities, such as bicycling, walking and doing housework, weren’t associated with any decreased risk.
It’s gentle on the body.
The wide variety of moves (anyone up for the robot?) that we bust out when boogying down can actually be a lifesaver for your body, as you’re avoiding the wear and tear of repetitive motions.
“It’s not so repetitive as we’re constantly combining exercises together in different combinations and developing fun innovative moves that you typically would not find in low-impact cardio aerobic classes,” Mallett said.
Unlike more traditional cardio, which is very structured and vigorous, dancing is more free, allowing you to adjust the tempo when your body needs a break, Comana explains. “What I like about dance is dance is free flowing,” he said. “It’s less traumatic on the body … You don’t have to worry about going hard, you can always slow down.”
Each year, one out of every three adults over the age of 65 will fall, according to the Centers for Disease Control. One thing that could help? Strapping on your dancing shoes.
A research review found that dancing, as well as carrying objects while walking, can help to improve balance and ultimately reduce dangerous falls. “It is well worth the elderly putting their favorite music on at home and having a little jig,” study researcher Tracey Howe told The Telegraph.