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Dancing is good for the brain

posted Aug 27, 2012, 5:27 PM by Susan Young RDH   [ updated Aug 27, 2012, 5:32 PM ]
Scientists have known for a while that the best way to stave off the mental deterioration of old age is to keep using your brain.

The question is, which mental exercises work best? The answer, surprisingly, appears to be dancing -- regardless of your age.

Apparently, since dancing is so open and free to interpretation, it demands the most instant thinking. Your brain has to fire off signals to move every part of your body in crazy ways that you just don't have to ordinarily manage. Unlike bicycling or swimming, where you eventually just fall into a routine and stop thinking about it, dancing is more dynamic. And with all this rapid thinking, your brain can't help but grow extra neural pathways to keep up with you.

Researchers weren't very sure which dance in particular was the best, but they suggest that any activity that promotes rapid decision making without falling into a routine would show the same benefits.

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