I love to dance! I dance in the kitchen, in the shower, but to dance in public unless I have had copious amounts of wine is another story. Until now…..
We all know the great results you can get from physical exercise through dance. More recently we’ve seen research on further health benefits of dancing, such as stress reduction and increased serotonin level, with its sense of well-being. And here is the exciting news – frequent dancing can help to prevent Alzheimer’s. This was proved in a recent study.
The essence of what they discovered was making decisions. What it suggests when it comes to improving your mental ability is to involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory. Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinaesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your brain connectivity.
So time to start dancing!
My mission for a Beautiful Mind was to find a form of dance I could really connect to and love. Here is my week of dancing.
Day 1. Ballet
I haven’t done ballet since I was 5, so this was a challenge. Trying to keep track of the moves had my mind definitely working on the quick response mechanisms. My serotonin levels got a huge boost. I was laughing so much as I felt more like a dying swan than a graceful ballerina. My first class was at Next Generation where they hold a barre class, although I felt very unco I loved it. There are many classes now available in most cities around the world as Ballet Barre is the new hot trend. If you don’t have access or feel to shy to try in public I would highly recommend Ballet Beautiful – an online class.
Day 2. Zumba
Ok – so here’s the truth – I am a closet Zumba fan. It just makes me happy and I get to revisit my Flash Dance days. Zumba people are a different breed and I love them for it with their passion for the dance, the music and the sheer joy of shakin their bootie! Learning the moves certainly gets the old brain working too. I used to be a regular and after a year hiatus I re joined and consequently had to start over learning the new Zumba dances. Download the Zumba app and start practicing in the privacy of home and when you are ready go and break out your moves at your nearest Zumba class.
Day 3. Ballroom Dancing
I am very lucky as my husband Geoff is a bit of a Fred Astaire. He is the guy at the party who all the girls dance with as their husbands won’t (tough job for him but somebody’s got to do it!) So my twinkle toes hubby very happily obliged to teach me some moves. I know I will never be Dancing with the Stars but I did love the exhilarating feel I got when the steps came together. I also felt my brain getting a good workout! There are so many different types of ballroom dancing you can attend and usually in most community centres. This would be the best dancing of all for improving your cognitive brain function and help to prevent to big “A”. I am looking into a regular class so I can be my husbands Ginger.
Day 4. Pole dancing
I decided to find my inner show girl and give this a go! I headed to Altitude Pole to learn the age old art of navigating the pole. If you want to get your sexy back and also enjoy a workout beyond compare then this is for you. While it may seem simple the moves executed can become difficult as you move up the ladder (or the pole – excuse the pun!!!) A work out for the mind and the bod and lots of fun but not sure if it is for me.
Day 5. Dancing with my Mama
This dancing was for the pure joy of seeing a spark in my darling mother’s eye when I put on Neil Diamond – one of her favs. For people that have Alzheimer’s, music and dance is so incredibly beneficial for them. My mother Colyn is in the last stage of Alzheimer’s and can not walk or talk so to have this moment with her made this hands down one of my favourite dances of the week. Hopefully this video says it all (please excure my dreadful singing!)
So now it is your turn. Take the plunge in the knowledge that dancing will not only keep you fit, keep your endorphins pumped, it may also help to prevent Alzheimer’s.
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