Dancing is a fun activity to engage in. It allows you to let loose and just enjoy the moment. But did you know that dancing can provide other benefits as well?
Aside from being a great workout for your body, dancing can also be connected to brain health. It may seem odd, but researchers are now trying to conduct further studies on the effects of dancing on the brain. In particular, scientists are trying to see if dancing actually does help improve your brain health.
Why Exercising the Brain Is Just as Important as Exercising the Body
When talking about one’s health, people often focus on the physical aspect. This means eating the right food and exercising the body. However, the body isn’t the only thing you should be working out. The brain needs to be exercised as well.
Our brain has a lot to do with our daily life. In fact, it is considered the most important organ in the body as it typically acts as the boss. Your brain health dictates a person’s ability to make decisions, communicate, solve problems, and generally live a productive life.
However, just like the rest of the human body, the brain can weaken over time. It even shrinks as you age, and the lost volume can lead to certain health issues. So, it’s important to exercise your brain to keep it healthier. This includes performing various activities that challenge your coordination, cognition, memory, and attention. Basically, you would want to stimulate your brain, which dancing can do.
Can Dancing Affect Your Brain Health?
Dancing can be a great activity to immerse yourself in as it not only keeps you physically active but also stimulates the brain. But how exactly does dancing improve your brain health?
The great thing about dancing is that it requires the same level of mental activity no matter your age. So, if you are a senior citizen that likes to dance, your brain actually gets the same amount of stimulation that a child would receive from dancing. So, in a way, it kind of makes you feel young.
Dancing is great for brain stimulation as it challenges different areas of your brain. For example, when you are shown the dance moves, your brain gets to focus in order to get the moves right. You’ll also need to remember a series of steps, which of course, exercises your memory. And since dancing involves a lot of complex movements and staying in rhythm, it can test your coordination. So, it basically targets a lot of areas at once, keeping your brain stimulated and healthier.
How Dancing Helps Patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases
Since dancing is an effective way to exercise the mind and body, it is often being used in treating patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. When a person has Parkinson’s disease, their motor skills can be affected, leading to difficulty balancing, slowed movements, and lack of coordination. But through observational research, it was found that patients with Parkinson’s who regularly engaged in rhythmic movements associated with dance, had significant improvements in their motor function.
People with Alzheimer’s also seem to experience improved quality of life thanks to dance. Aside from the physical benefits, dance also seems to have an effect on the cognitive wellness of Alzheimer’s patients. In particular, the memorization and recall of steps help challenge their memory. Dance also provides a social aspect that can further help stimulate the brain.
While further research still needs to be conducted, dancing seems to be a promising way for people to exercise both their body and mind. Dancing stimulates the brain and challenges different areas for better brain function. It can also be used to help patients with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s as it helps improve mobility function while providing necessary brain stimulation.
Your age shouldn’t stop you from getting on the dance floor to get that needed physical and mental workout. And with Gateway Home Health, you can get the assistance you need to dance your heart away. We are proud to provide the highest quality home health care in Colorado Springs in an atmosphere of respect for human dignity. Our highly trained clinicians and therapists strive to exceed the expectations of our patients, families, caregivers, and physicians. Get in touch with us today!