When was the last time you went out dancing? Millions of people dance, either recreationally or professionally.
However, many of those who are ballroom dancing, doing the foxtrot, break dancing, or line dancing doesn’t realize that they are doing something positive for their bodies—and their brains.
Dance, in fact, has such beneficial effects on the functionality of the brain that it is now being used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological movement disorder.
Dancing is said to improve a person’s cognitive skills since it prepares the brain for prime learning. Apart from improving brain health, dance improves balance, coordination and flexibility.
A vigorous activity such as dancing pumps blood to the brain, giving it the glucose and oxygen it needs to function optimally.
According to psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Coyle of the Harvard Medical School, the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex – of which play a role in dancing – are rewired and consequently improved with frequent use.
The dynamism required in decision-making – for example, what step you need to do next – paves the way for new neural paths that make information transmission faster and better. Such activities also help improve mental capacity since the cognitive processes are exercised in more ways than one.
Dancing improves brain function on a variety of levels. Two recent studies show how different types of practice allow dancers to achieve peak performance by blending cerebral and cognitive thought processes with muscle memory and ‘proprioception’ held in the cerebellum.
Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function.
Great dancers are often great athletes due to their flexibility and agility
Apart from brain health, dancing also helps in maintaining a better outlook, therefore decreasing the risk of suffering from crippling, stress and depression.
Dancing also improves cardiovascular and bone health. Dancing is like most regular physical exercises – they can improve your heart and bone health.
In conclusion, it is a glaring fact that dancing indeed makes one smarter and improves brain and cardiovascular health.
Experts from Stanford University say that dancing is great at involving all the brain functions simultaneously – from musical and kinesthetic, to rational and emotional.
So you can actually improve your mental health by having fun dancing, or by being a professional dance