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All types of movement are great for lubricating the joints, relieving stress, and toning the body. But dancing is hugely important! It's great for the body and brain.
A 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental sharpness. They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments and cards. And they studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, etc.
One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.
There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.
Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia
Bicycling and swimming - 0%
Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week - 47%
Playing golf - 0%
Dancing frequently - 76%. That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.
So in the end, keep dancing.