Dr. Estefanía Peltzer, a medical specialist in General and Family Medicine, states, “Numerous investigations have shown the benefits of this activity for health. And when we talk about advantages, we not only refer to physical health but also very positive effects at the level of emotional and mental wellness.”
Dancing helps to avoid the effects of Alzheimer’s
The doctor explained that “a study with senior participants published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that regular dancing helps to avoid the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and it increases mental acuity for people of all ages. ”
Benefits at the mental level
The doctor added that “dance is a social activity par excellence,” and stressed that numerous studies “have shown that socialization with others contributes to high self-esteem and positive attitude to life. As if that were not enough, dancing allows you to relax and release tension. It stimulates, like all physical activities do, the secretion of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine — hormones that will give a sensation of pleasure and well-being, analgesia, and in particular, happiness.” The dance also helps to improve confidence, said the professional and added “every time you master a new dance move, you experience an increase in confidence, but also, your mood improves. And this increased confidence is transferred to other aspects of life.”
Dancing boosts memory
As if everything mentioned was not enough, dancing “fosters clarity of thought and improves memory. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that dancing could increase memory and prevent the onset of dementia as you get older.
Science reveals that aerobic exercises can reverse the loss of volume in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. The hippocampus shrinks naturally during adulthood, which often leads to memory problems and sometimes dementia. Therefore, dancing is great!”
Dancing is fun
Peltzer added that “dance is an activity practiced by all the cultures and civilizations of the planet, and perhaps one of the oldest in the world, is a symbol of expression, liberation, communication, and social interaction, but, in particular, of joy.
Have you ever thought of an activity that generates fun, and at the same time, brings benefits for your health? Well, without a doubt, that activity is dancing,” he said.
Also, he noted that “all the physical and mental benefits exposed, the best part of the dance is having fun. It is practically impossible to dance without smiling. The music gets the person to express their feelings and leads them to a state of lasting joy.”
How it works
Dance affects health in many ways mainly because it exercises the activity of multiple muscle groups. It is a powerful stimulant of mental activity, and it reduces the levels of hyper stress and anxiety. But how does physical activity benefit our health?
The doctor said that, for cardiovascular health, “dance is extremely beneficial because it promotes weight loss, reduces blood pressure and helps regulate blood cholesterol levels, lowering LDL and triglycerides levels and increasing HDL. That reduces cardiovascular risk and improves cardiorespiratory function.”
It is also an excellent activity for the control and reduction of body weight since it generates a great caloric expenditure, but also strengthens different muscle groups and increases strength, flexibility, and resistance.”
Dancing equals longevity
When it comes to longevity and quality of life, “it has been proven that social activities help people live longer and healthier lives. Maintaining positive relationships is as important to health as exercise and a good nutritional plan.”
Dancing frequently (at least twice a week) reduces the risk of dementia by 76%t. It is the highest rate, compared to any other physical or mental exercises. It is the result of a study conducted by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute of Aging.
The benefits of dancing, from youth to 50+ years of age, go beyond fun. It develops creativity, exercises mind and body, gives a feeling of happiness, and increases the level of chemical substances in the brain that stimulate the growth of new cells. All this happens because dancing requires remembering steps and dance sequences and stimulates the brain, improving memory. As if that were not enough, it:
- Strengthens bones and muscles without hurting the joints
- Tunes the body
- Improves posture and balance
- Increase stamina, flexibility, and intelligence
- Reduces stress and tension
- Develops self-confidence
- Helps meet new people
- Protects against diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression
- Facilitates decision making
- Promotes neural renewal
Isn’t it wonderful that something we love doing lengthens our lives and improves mental capacity?