A new study suggests that dancing may be one of the healthiest activities for your brain. Specifically, country dancing seems to have a positive effect on cognitive health. The study divided a number of seniors into different groups and had them participate in different activities for six months to see if there was any improvement in the white matter in their brains and to see if any changes were reflected in a number of tests. There was a lot of interesting but also worrisome findings from the study. For example, the dancing group showed an improvement in white matter, but every senior in the study showed an improvement in their test taking, even if they had actually lost more white matter in their brain. This may suggest that there is some sort of lag between degeneration and when we actually see changes in behavior or memory.
The exertion on the mind to memorize movements and choreography may be one of the reasons dance is helpful in maintaining brain function, but it will be interesting to see if this study is followed up with others and see what improvements can be made for the elderly suffering with memory loss and other conditions associated with old age.
Read more about it here.