This Is What Happens When You Dance

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Worried about what might happen to your brain as you age? I’m going to tell you how to lessen the chances of brain decline with dance. It’s so much fun!

We should all try as hard as we can to be healthier, our kids included. So first, let me share some adorbs healthy snacks you could make for your kiddos when you’ve finished reading this post. I’m a fan of this silly, yummy chicken pear and this delicious owl. Your little ones are going to think you’re a food genius. Now, onto our post!

Do you ever worry about your brain health? I do! I can’t tell you how many goofy things I’ve done because my brain seems to be on low power mode.

This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You Dance

Dance Like Your Brain is Watching

I’ve put my keys in the freezer, put my shirt on backward, and I’ve actually tried to get out of my car with it still running! I once forgot the word for wheel. I kept saying to my husband, “You know that thing that’s on a car that goes around?”

Future generations will wonder what the heck a purple egg was doing behind a kitchen wall. I’ve probably left at least one Easter egg in every place I’ve ever lived because I forgot where I hid them. Please tell me you have, too!

When I read that dancing for brain health is a thing, I was pretty excited. Now I’m dancing to the laundry room, dancing to the bathroom, and dancing in the frozen pea section at the grocery store.

Here’s what I learned.

From the Alzheimer Society in Canada: Almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss. When there is no underlying medical condition causing this memory loss, it is known as “age-associated memory impairment,” which is considered a part of the normal aging process.

Frankly, I don’t like those odds, so I’m going to do whatever I can to give my brain what it needs to be healthy.

Harvard Medical School’s ON THE BRAIN wrote the following, “A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance can decidedly improve brain health.

The study investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. The researchers looked at the effects of 11 different types of physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming, and tennis, but found that only one of the activities studied—dance—lowered participants’ risk of dementia. According to the researchers, dancing involves both a mental effort and social interaction and that this type of stimulation helped reduce the risk of dementia.”

Oh my gosh! Dance can help lower our risk of dementia more than golf or swimming! Especially if you’re dancing with other people.

Dance drives up that good serotonin.

It seems that dancing also helps reduce stress and increases the levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin. In other words, dancing makes you happy. (Even if you’re a terrible dancer… which I am.)

Dancing helps your brain create new pathways in regions having to do with executive function, memory, and spatial recognition.

Ready to Boogie for Your Brain?

I’m not a researcher, but I don’t see any downside at all to taking a dance class or going dancing with your partner or friends. And now you have a reason! Thanks, BRAIN.

Now, where did I leave my tap shoes?

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1 thought on “This Is What Happens When You Dance”

  1. Kathryn Busby

    We dance 5-6 times weekly. Really! And specifically we square dance. Incredible exercise, challenging memory and agility, square dancers use listening training to recognize about100-120 different movements lead by a caller. This requires split second decision making to execute, keeping  seven other dancers in your square on track too! But what’s really addictive about square dancing for me is the level of social cooperation seldom seen in other segments of my life. The smiles tell it all!  Do a search on square dancing, including the National Square Dance conventions, and look for those smiles. Then find a local club and learn when the next beginner lessons start. Don’t miss trying this amazing treasure!