Excellent news about dancing
from a reliable source.
Did you hear about the New England Journal
of Medicine report on the effects of
recreational activities on mental acuity
in aging? Here it is in a nutshell:
The 21-year study of senior citizens,
75 and older, was led by the Albert
Einstein College of Medicine in New
York City, funded by the National Institute
on Aging, and published in the New England
Journal of Medicine. Their method for
objectively measuring mental acuity
in aging was to monitor rates of dementia,
including Alzheimer's disease.
They studied cognitive activities such
as reading books, writing for pleasure,
doing crossword puzzles, playing cards
and playing musical instruments. And
they studied physical activities like
playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling,
dancing, walking for exercise and doing
One of the surprises of the study was
that almost none of the physical activities
appeared to offer any protection against
dementia. There can be cardiovascular
benefits, of course, but the focus of
this study was the mind. There was one
important exception: the only physical
activity to offer protection against
dementia was frequent dancing.
- Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia
- Bicycling and swimming - 0%
- Playing golf - 0%
- Dancing frequently - 76%
That was the
greatest risk reduction of any activity
studied, cognitive or physical.
Quoting Dr. Joseph Coyle,
a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist
who wrote an accompanying commentary:
"The cerebral cortex and hippocampus,
which are critical to these activities,
are remarkably plastic, and they rewire
themselves based upon their use."
Our brain constantly rewires its neural
pathways, as needed. If it doesn't need
to, then it won't.
Dance for the HEALTH of it!!