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Dancing's Effect on Brain Function and Mental Health

People are often familiar with some of the potential benefits of dancing, such as providing social interaction, improving heart health and flexibility, and helping people to lose weight. For example, a 155-pound person can burn 112 calories in just 30 minutes of slow dancing or 223 calories in the same time if they're dancing fast. However, there are also a wide range of benefits to the brain when you spend some time busting a move.

Can Limit Dizziness

People with certain health problems experience dizziness and sometimes the fear of falling. Visiting an adult dance studio for some lessons may make it so this problem can be limited according to recent research. Regular dance training helps desensitize people to these feelings of dizziness. Their brains learn to suppress the input from the inner ear that would otherwise make them feel dizzy. Of course, this takes years of dance training, but since this enjoyable activity also has other benefits, it can be worth a try.

May Help With Parkinson's Disease

Studies have shown that dancing affects multiple parts of the brain, potentially improving memory and making the connections between neurons stronger. Because dancing involves more than one type of stimulation, social interaction and mental effort, it was found to help limit dementia risk. Moving to a steady rhythmic cue, such as the music used when dancing, also seems to help improve function in patients with Parkinson's disease, allowing them to move and speak better.

Relieves Stress

Taking dance classes for adults can benefit anyone as dancing can help to increase the body's release of endorphins to instill feelings of happiness. This tends to result in an improvement in overall satisfaction with life. Dancing can also limit the release of hormones related to stress, especially if dancing with a partner. Tango appears to be particularly effective since it requires a lot of mindfulness, similar to meditation, to dance it well.

Most Beneficial Types

Not all dancing has the same benefits. Some types of dancing are better for improving brain health than others. While all types of dancing may have stress relief benefits, those dances that simply involve following set patterns won't help to improve mental acuity as much. This means that those trying to keep their brains functioning as much as possible and limit their risk of dementia should dance often and choose a type of dancing where they're constantly needing to make split second decisions on what to do next. This includes many types of social dancing with partners where the steps aren't set, such as the salsa, the tango and swing dancing.

To learn more about the benefits of dancing, contact a studio like Be Beautiful Dance Studio near you.