Tuesday, January 22, 2019

More Health Benefits of Dance!



Have you seen the new Disney movie Mary Poppins Returns?  Were you as impressed with Dick Van Dyke's wonderful dance scene as I was?

        In my November, 2018 post, I wrote about the anti-aging effects of dance. Today I am sharing some more good news.

        "Dance Like Your Doctor Is Watching:  It's Great for Your Mind and Body,"  Time, December, 2018, cites two recent studies that tout dance's capacity for helping to stave off disability and dementia while we age. 

        One study followed about 1000 elderly women and monitored them for 8 years, measuring their ability in everyday tasks as well as keeping track of their health and what kind of physical activity they did.

        The results showed that some kinds of exercise seemed to stave off the effects of aging better than others. Dancing came out on top, beating out calisthenics, walking and yoga!

        "The researchers found that women who frequently danced had a 73% lower chance of becoming disabled during the study period. Researchers theorize that this is because dancing requires an engaged mind as well as an active body. It is a multi-layered activity.  Most people have fun while they are dancing and don't realize that it often requires learning and remembering steps, keeping time to music, spatial and body awareness, and last but not least, strength, balance, flexibility, and stamina.

        The second study cited in the article is from the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.  Thirty-two past studies were analyzed.  This totaled more than 3500 people who ranged from ages 50 to 85.  It attempted to discern the effects that mind-body activities, such as t'ai chi, yoga, and dance, have on the cognitive function of aging adults.

        The results were startling. They found strong evidence that 60 to 120 minutes of tai chi or dance per week could "improve global cognition, even for adults who already had some impairment.

It cautions that these body/mind activities aren't proven to cause the health benefits, but that they do seem to be associated with the positive results.

Conga Line!

        However, to bolster the case for dance even further, it cites a study that was published in 2017 showing through brain scan imaging, that "dancing can increase the amount of white matter in the brains of elderly adults.  White matter degrades with age, and this breakdown is thought to be associated with cognitive decline."

        Click here if you would like to read the full article:  http://time.com/5484237/dancing-health-benefits/

        We often think of the physical benefits of dance, which are substantial and important, but studies continue to reveal and reinforce the many cognitive benefits as well.

        All we need to do is take a look at Dick Van Dyke at 90+ years old, tapping and high-stepping on the desktop, and we can see it for ourselves!

Keep on Dancin',




Check out Connie's upcoming picture book at: 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog post. Much thanks again.


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