Friday, July 11, 2008

Dancing and Dementia: Dance as if No One Is Watching

It's pretty obvious that I am a dancing nut, but that is not why I entitled this post "Dancing and Dementia." I have always been a dancer-- even as a little kid. My parents met on a blind date at a dance!

Amidst all of the bad news about war, poverty, and high gas prices, today's NY Times has a blog about the benefits of dancing, "Dance Even if No One Is Watching". The author refers to a YouTube video of Matt Harding doing a goofy dance at different locations worldwide. The locations range from the spectacular to the mundane. Along the way, many different types of people join him in the goofy dance. For me, the video shows the universal appeal of dancing and music.

In addition to plugging the video, the author gives several health benefits of dancing, including a 2003 New England Journal of Medicine article that reported reduced dementia among older people who danced. Here is a similar article on the benefits of dancing from Psychology Today Healing Arts blog.

When I go dancing, there are almost always more women than men on the dance floor. Obesity, depression, high blood pressure, and now dementia can be prevented (or at least reduced) with dancing. What more reason do you need to start dancing, guys?

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