Have you ever thought to yourself that you’re too old for something? So many people want to try ballroom dancing but insist they are too old to to give it a try. Well I’m here to tell you that not only is that not true, ballroom dancing is actually beneficial for anyone of all ages, and especially as you begin to get older.
Everyone has heard in some form or another that dance provides health benefits, most well known being physical exercise. What many people don’t know about is another very key benefit, frequent dancing makes us smarter. Yes, you read that correctly, frequent dancing makes us smarter! A 21-year study of seniors aged 75 and older, led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, was designed to see if there were any physical or cognitive activities that influence mental sharpness. The cognitive activities studied were reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments. The physical activities consisted of golf, tennis, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.
A surprising result was that almost none of the physical activities protect against dementia. There is one very important exception to this result, and that is that frequent dancing does offer protection against dementia.
Reading: 35% reduced risk
Bicycling and swimming: 0%
Crossword Puzzles 4 times a week: 47%
Dancing frequently: 76%
That’s right, 76% reduced risk of dementia by dancing frequently! No other activity, physical or cognitive, has those kind of results. Why is this number so staggeringly different from all the other results? Dance incorporates multiple brain functions at once, kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional. Since ballroom dancing requires some split-second decision making, the study found that above all other dance forms, ballroom dancing kept the brain more stimulated and better for brain comprehension than dancing were one just has to memorize sequences.
Dancing is beneficial for people of all ages, it satisfies all the important things in life by stimulating us socially, physically and mentally. Now we know that it also protects against dementia more than ANY OTHER activity. So no matter your age, give us a call and let the staff of Ridgefield Fred Astaire Dance Studio help get you up and onto the dance floor!