Monday, January 11, 2010

Keep your brain healthy - try ballroom dancing!

We all know that regular exercise is good for your body. Ballroom dancing (or Dancesport), for instance, is a good workout - just try getting through a 40 minute cha-cha lesson without breaking into a sweat. But ballroom dancing is also good for your brain!

Dancesport can actually help reduce the effects of dementia-related issues later in life. It has something to do with one's involvement in both the physical activity and mental thought processes at the same time, somehow continuously creating new neural paths in the brain. Not only do you have to physically do the steps, you have to think about lots of things at the same time, including but not limited to: what step comes next, which foot you're on now and how do you get your feet where they need to go next, posture, where your hands are, what your partner is doing, remembering to always keep the proper tension in your frame, and having to keep to the beat of the dance (such as quick-quick-slow for Rumba, or slow-slow-quick-quick for foxtrot).

Check out these articles: Dancing Makes You Smarter

. . . and Dancing Your Way to Better Health.

By the way, here is a photo of Carlos Gutierrez and Christina Iannelli, (you may have to scroll down a little), our dance instructors, from when Andrew and I took ballroom dancing in MA (2003-2006). They taught out of Carlos' dance studio in West Newton, MA. 

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