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Dancing to keep the brain young

The issues of senile dementia and cognitive decline affect many families closely.
Recent scientific discoveries bring to light the importance of prevention.
It is now well established that there are correlations between some chronic disorders, perhaps often overlooked, and neuronal degeneration. We know that physical activity is essential to counteract the damage of aging. It is not just a question of muscle tone and joint efficiency, the benefits affect the whole organism and even the brain.

The first rule is this: start now

If you think it’s too late it’s not true, you can always improve by choosing a motor activity that is appropriate to your body.
If you think it is too soon, know that you are wrong. Don’t wait any longer to start a healthy lifestyle. Do you know that brain aging starts around 30? Already.
We shouldn’t be scared, but remember how natural it is. And keep in mind that taking care of ourselves can make a huge difference to how we will experience the passage of time. It should be even easier if we think that a pleasant activity such as dancing can actually help us to keep our brains young.

The effects of dance on the hippocampus

So let’s do physical activity. But which? This is where a very interesting study comes to our aid, pubblicato su Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, where you can read it in full.
The research examined and compared the effects of fitness and dancing on people aged 63 to 80 in good health.
It turns out that dancing is one of the best activities to combat the onset of dementia!
This is because it acts in a peculiar way on the hippocampus. The hippocampus is an area of ​​the brain particularly affected by aging and greatly affected by neurodegenerative diseases. It plays a fundamental role in cognitive processes such as learning and memory. In addition, it is involved in maintaining balance, a crucial function for well-being, which greatly affects the quality of life.

But why should we dance to keep our brains young?

The study found that both sports training and dance stimulated the hippocampus and increased the volume of the hippocampal subfields. The dance acted in several subfields, four out of five, on the left side. And she only increased one subfield of the right area, the subicolo.
These are very technical terms, but it is enough to know that both activities had effects on the hippocampus, but only the dance stimulated some specific areas. In fact, the improvement in balance was greater with dance than with standard fitness activities.
The dance probably stands out because it is not very repetitive and involves multiple functions.
The additional stimuli it brings with respect to other motor activities are both cognitive and sensorimotor. Dance involves all the senses and involves continuous adaptation, balancing and learning. Visual-spatial intelligence is more involved.

Let’s not underestimate the playful component and possibly the relationship with others.
We know how having fun he has positively affects mental abilities, and how much physical contact stimulates the hormones of happiness.
Why not take the opportunity to have fun in single dances, in pairs or in company? You don’t need to be technically flawless, just want to get involved and explore new possibilities of movement and expressiveness of the body.

(We remind you to carefully read the warnings in this regard, which can be consulted who”)

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