With age comes a consistent decline in mental and physical health. Some diseases including Alzheimer’s worsen the condition and mental fitness of an elderly individual. But, according to a new study, dancing actually reverses the Signs Of Aging in the brain. Based on a study published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, older people that participate in physical activity show signs of aging reversal in the brain. In addition, the study suggests that the reversal is most evident when Dancing.

Dancing for mental fitness

Everyone knows how beneficial exercise is, but this is the first time dancing has been linked to the decline in aging in the brain.

Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld from the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases said that it could slow down and even reverse the effects of declining mental and physical health.

The study compared the result of two different physical activities -- dancing and endurance training. Both activities were proven to enhance the part of the brain that usually declines with age. Based on the data, dancing yielded a more favorable result. Aside from counteracting the aging process in the brain, elders also exhibited behavioral changes and improved balance.

Testing the brain

Volunteers (aged 68) were recruited for the study and were included in the 18-month weekly course of dancing and endurance training. Although both activities resulted in an enhanced mental state, dancing had a more “impactful” response. Volunteers in both tests showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain. This area is affected the most by aging, and it is also linked to learning and memory -- as well as keeping one’s balance.

Previous studies have proven that physical exercise can be used to strengthen the brain. However, there was no specific study suggesting which exercise was the most beneficial until researchers found that dancing could be the key. In order to do that, volunteers were given different exercise routines.

Enhancing the brain with dance

According to Dr. Rehfeld, participants were given different dance routines week after week.

The senior dance group was taught Jazz, Latin American, Line, and Square dance routines. These dances involve speed, rhythm, formation, and arm patterns that constantly change every week. The challenge for the elders is to recall these changes under pressure.

Due to these challenges, the senior dance group exhibited a noticeable difference. Now that they identified that dancing reverses the effects of aging on the brain, they are testing new fitness programs to maximize these effects.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!