The benefits of dancing for older people

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We’re big on encouraging people of all ages to make sure they do regular exercise and we have previously blogged about the benefits of walking and the benefits of Pilates, but dancing is even more beneficial.

It not only keeps you fit and healthy, but it can also help improve brain function. Dancing combines several different brain functions at once – rational, musical, emotional and kinaesthetic – and these increase the brain’s neural connectivity.

Research has also shown that certain types of dancing can be particularly beneficial for older people.

A study by the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases revealed that people who regularly did line dancing, Latin American, jazz and square dancing had a larger hippocampus (area of the brain associated with age-related decline) and were better protected against dementia because of it.

They also found that dancing had a more powerful impact over exercises such as walking and cycling.

If you have good mobility we would certainly recommend taking up dancing on a regular basis to not only improve your fitness but your brain function too. It doesn’t have to be at a specific dance class either as freestyle dancing was also shown in the study to help reduce the risk of dementia.

Dancing can also help those already in the early stages of dementia as it can be a physically and mentally stimulating activity.