Nashville Dance Lessons to Prevent Alzheimers
Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible illness that steals a person’s mobility, memories, and independence. Beyond that, it can be a great tax on family members and friends as they attempt to care for a person with the disease.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. There are only certain mitigating efforts that can be used to treat and prevent the disease at this time. And because of the difficulty of treating this illness, people are trying a wide variety of methods to address the symptoms of the disease.
There is a method of mitigating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s that you might have heard about but thought it couldn’t be true — ballroom dancing.
How could an elegant dance help fight against one of the nastiest diseases a person can get? It might seem silly at first, but the more you think about it, the more sense it makes.
So, does ballroom dancing help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease?
Studies Show, Yes!
The New England Journal of Medicine is one of the most respected medical journals in the country. They frequently release peer-reviewed studies that go on to be eminent sources of information in their particular industry.
They published an article titled Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly, in which the authors explore how participation in leisure activities relate to symptoms of dementia. Examples of leisure activities include “reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments, and dancing.”
These were then split into cognitive and physical activities.
Of all the physical activities (such as bicycling, swimming, and golf), dancing was shown to have the greatest impact on symptoms of dementia.
According to Noah Crees, “The study showed that dancing correlated with a 76% reduced risk of dementia among the test subjects, which was the highest among all tested activities.”
How Does It Help?
We might not know how to completely treat Alzheimer’s, but we are able to see correlations of actions that can have positive effects on the symptoms. Physical exercise and cognitive stimulation are known to have positive effects in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“Of all the lifestyle changes that have been studied, taking regular physical exercise appears to be one of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia.”
Cardiovascular exercise that gets the blood pumping also helps send that blood to the brain “resulting in the building of vascular reserve and the maintenance of neuronal plasticity.”
Alzheimer’s is essentially a breakdown of the structure of the brain. Brain cells — as well as the connections between them — start to die off. However, this “maintenance of neuronal plasticity” helps to fight against this.
Unused muscles will eventually start to degrade. This same line of thinking applies to using cognitive stimulation to fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Memory exercises, social interactions, and thinking exercises are essentially a workout for the brain.
People with Alzheimer’s have shown benefits from these types of exercises. This idea was put to the test and according to Science Daily:
“Those who received cognitive stimulation interventions scored significantly higher in cognitive function tests, which measure improvements in memory and thinking. These benefits were still being seen one to three months after treatment.”
Ballroom Dancing Combines Both of These Factors
So why does ballroom dancing stand out as a means of addressing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? It’s a combination of cognitive stimulation and physical exercise at the same time.
Ballroom dancing takes a lot of care and attention to remember the patterns of steps. This can be an intense mental exercise until you reach that magical point where it clicks. And when it finally clicks, it’s a great time.
But there is going to be that initial learning period that engages your brain. And as we’ve seen above, that engagement can have great benefits for people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Beyond that, it can even help to prevent it!
And of course, ballroom dancing is exercise. You’re on your feet. You’re moving around. Going through the movements with your partner might look effortless when it’s done perfectly, but it sure won’t feel effortless when you’re learning the steps.
Ballroom dancing for beginners is a great mixture of mental and physical exercise, but not to the point of it becoming strenuous. It’s accessible. Anybody can do it — all it takes is a little time and attention.
Are you ready to see what ballroom dancing can do for you? Visit World Champion Productions in the Nashville area and get started!