As my family could tell you, I am not the academic one in my family. My husband, children, and even grandkids all have minds that can retain information much better than mine. I have served to be the one with the reliable “gut” feelings and the one with problem solving attributes. Since ballroom dancing, I have had the sense that this was creating a substantial effect on my life. Now, thanks to my friend Tommie, I have begun to find some academic support for what my gut was telling me.
In The New England Journal of Medicine, there is an article titled, Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly. Though it is not something we dwell on, many people in my age category have watched parents or grandparents suffer with mind deterioration and grieved for their suffering. This 21 year study documented a variety of activities in the elderly and the correlation to dementia. Guess which physical activity connected to the fewest cases of dementia? DANCING! In fact, this study says, ” Dancing was the only physical activity associated with a lower risk of dementia.” Dancing outranked bicycling, team sports, walking, and several other activities common in the elderly population.
See You on the Floor (as I improve my mind!)
New England Journal of Medicine
Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly
Joe Verghese, M.D., Richard B. Lipton, M.D., Mindy J. Katz, M.P.H., Charles B. Hall, Ph.D., Carol A. Derby, Ph.D., Gail Kuslansky, Ph.D., Anne F. Ambrose, M.D., Martin Sliwinski, Ph.D., and Herman Buschke, M.D.
N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2508-2516June 19, 2003