Dancing keeps your brain healthy

A regular dancing session can help keep your brain healthy and fight against it ageing, a new study has revealed.

Screengrab from the Tendai Guzha video interpretation of Beyonce’s song

Key is the improvement of balance, a loss of which is a sign of brain degeneration.

Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, lead author of the study at the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases:

Exercise has the beneficial effect of slowing down or even counteracting age-related decline in mental and physical capacity

In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that led to noticeable behavioural changes in terms of improved balance.

In the study two groups of people aged 68 took 18 months of either dance or rigorous exercise.

Dance group volunteers were taught a new routine every week. The other group had repetitive exercises.

While both registered growth of the hippocampus (the part of the body which directs many bodily functions), the dancers, because they were expected to learn new moves time pressure, registered an additional improvement in their balance.

Off to Zumba then…

The study was published in the neuroscience journal, Frontiers.