Practice improves balance and helps sharpen
Learning, memorizing and balancing: what do these skills have in common? Well, they are all related to the hippocampus, brain area that can get compromised with aging . But a study by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases has revealed a particularly welcome practice for this region: dance .
The researchers compared the activity with resistance training and flexibility. Then they realized that, especially in terms of balance, moving the body to the rhythm of music is more advantageous. This is because the typical ballet movement changes have enhanced this function more than the classic exercises.
Other than that the older ones had to remember the choreographies – which, by contrast, favored memory. “Dancing still improves self-esteem and mood,” says Cristiane Peixoto, an aging physical educator at Cia Athletica in São Paulo.
Dance classes are great, but like any physical activity, they demand care. “You can try and get tired, but you should not feel pain,” emphasizes Cristiane. You have to respect the limits of the body. Ever!
5 more tips to preserve the brain
1. Stay away from cigarettes
2. Do not overdo alcohol
3. Include olive oil, fish, nuts and fruits in the diet
4. Invest in cultural activities – reading clubs, for example, are a good
5. Be sure to socialize. Listen and share experiences