Square dancing may reverse aging

Updated 2017-08-28 16:01:10 chinadaily.com.cn

Seniors who regularly dance can increase the area of their brain that declines with age, and also show noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance, sciencedaily.com reported Friday quoting a new research.

The research recruited two groups of elderly volunteers with an average age of 68. One group practiced constantly changing dance routines of different genres, such as Jazz, Square, Latin-American and Line Dance, and the other took endurance and flexibility training, mainly repetitive exercises, such as cycling or Nordic walking.

After 18-month experiment, both groups showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is prone to age-related decline and easily affected by Alzheimer's and other age-related diseases. The dancing group also showed remarkable improvement in balance.

The research belongs to a broader collection of studies on the cognitive and neural effects of physical and cognitive activity, and it was originally published by Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, based at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, Germany, in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

"I believe that everybody would like to live an independent and healthy life, for as long as possible. Physical activity is one of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to this, counteracting several risk factors and slowing down age-related decline. I think dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind, especially in older age," said Rehfeld based on the conclusion of his research.

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