Couple standing on couch dancing

We all know that staying active is what keeps us going now and for the future.

And dancing is simply so much fun, you don’t think about it the same way as exercise, right?

In this study, published in Science Daily, comparing dance to standard exercise routines, it turns out that dancing was shown to have an even greater impact on the brain than the exercise plan of about equal intensity!

But there’s a twist…

What made the difference in the dancers' greater cerebral response to exercise was having to memorize the patterns of movement.


Let’s generalize:

Understanding this also explains why learning the movement patterns of Tai Chi (not a quick or easy task) compounds the effects of the exercise.

Learning to speak a new language and learning how to play a musical instrument are the two best ways to keep your mind sharp. Notice in the study the mention of how music excites the brain–literally!

So it absolutely makes perfect sense; the movement, the music, and the memorization!

Skip the gym routine today, put the music on, and learn a new dance routine.

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About The Author

Steven Siemons ACSM CPT's picture

As a lifelong fitness enthusiast and armchair philosopher (BA in Social Science, UC Irvine), Steven communicates his passion for health and wellness with an offbeat slant. It's a lifestyle, he will insist; and fitness is really a journey to find what fits--for you. His personal fitness journey has primarily centered on resistance training for more than fifty years. An intense three-year exposure to Shotokan Karate under Sensei Ray Dalke and Sensei Edmond Otis in Southern California during his thirties (he is now 65, since you're wondering) had a significant impact on his appreciation for the martial arts as fitness disciplines. It is his sincere hope that you will find insight, inspiration, and knowledge from the ideas he sends your way. Find more of his work at The Senior Health and Fitness Blog.

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