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Use It or Lose It: Dancing Keeps You Smarter

February 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 181

Almost no other physical activity appears to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but nothing for the mind. Dance, of course, offers benefit to the heart and lungs also. The only physical activity to offer protection against dementia is frequent dancing. While bicycling and swimming reduces the risk of dementia by 0% and playing golf by 0%. Reading reduces the risk by 35% and doing crossword puzzles at least 4 days per week by 47%. Dancing frequently on the other hand reduces the risk by 76%.

Our brain constantly rewires its neural pathways, as needed. If it does not need to, then it won't. Like education, some leisure activities lowers the risk of dementia by improving cognitive reserve. So as we age, we learn to come up with ways to go around the roadblocks of our mind. Or maybe we do not learn to do this and we just become a dimmer bulb. More is better. Do what ever you can to create new neural pathways. The opposite of this is taking the same old path over and over again, with habitual patterns of thinking and living our lives. The more ways you find to accomplish something the easier it is to accomplish with your own style. The focus is creative thinking, to be able to find as many alternative paths as possible to a creative solution. As one ages this process becomes more critical. It becomes not a matter of style but a matter of survival. Those who only have one path falter when the path wears out. Those who spend their lives trying different mental routes create a myriad of possible paths and still have other paths left for later.

Why dancing? The essence of intelligence is making decisions. Intelligence: Use it or lose it. Involve yourself in activities that require split second decisions. Do this, as opposed to doing things by rote memory or just working in your own physical style. The way to do this is to learn something new. Not just dancing but anything new. Take a class and challenge your mind. It will stimulate those pathways. Difficult or even frustrating classes are even better. Taking a dance class does all this for your mind and more. There are the physical benefits too. Dancing integrates several brain functions at once, increasing your connectivity. Dancing simultaneously involves kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional processes. Dance as much as you can. Remember more is better.

Art/Dance Academy Complex in North County at Tales 1001 Check out our website at E-mail is

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