Health & Wellness

Studies show why you should never stop dancing

February 21, 2018


Do you love dancing? I know I do and I’ve always wanted to learn ballroom dancing. Recent studies have shown that dancing has a profound effect on reversing the signs of aging in the brain and also improved balance.

Any form of exercise is vital as we age to keep us healthy physically but also it can help us fight against age-related brain decline.

Why you should be dancing after 60!

Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, was the lead author of the study, recently published in ‘Frontiers in Human Neuroscience’, and is based at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, Germany.

The study showed that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increased the area of the brain that declines with age. However, it was only dancing showed that noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.

Volunteers (average age 68) over 18 months, were given either a weekly course of learning dance routines or training in flexibility and endurance. ‘Both groups showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain. This is important because this area can be prone to age-related decline and is affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s. It also plays a key role in memory and learning, as well as keeping one’s balance.’

The volunteers in the flexibility and endurance training did the same exercises every week. However, the volunteers in the dance study were given different routines every second week which challenged their thought and learning processes.  The extra challenges are thought to be the reason for the increased balance displayed in the dancing group.

Have you heard of Jymmin?

A new system called “Jymmin” (jamming and gymnastic) is currently being evaluated by Dr Rehfeld.

‘This is a sensor-based system which generates sounds (melodies, rhythm) based on . We know that dementia patients react strongly when listening to music. We want to combine the promising aspects of physical activity and active music making in a feasibility study with dementia patients.”

If you would like more information about the studies you can read Dancing or Fitness Sport? The Effects of Two Training Programs on Hippocampal Plasticity and Balance Abilities in Healthy Seniors

So put on your dancing shoes and turn up the volume and bust out some moves. You will keep fit and have fun at the same time!

Next week I will be introducing you to a woman who loves belly dancing and doesn’t let chronic illness stand in her way!

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Debbie February 22, 2018 at 05:51

    This is very interesting Sue! I know that dancing is recommended for people with Parkinson’s Disease due to the effect it has on the brain. Dad used to love music and dancing when he was able to do so. A great reminder to us about the benefits of something that can be a fun activity. We tried to learn to dance for our daughter’s wedding but I wasn’t very good!! My husband approaced it like a mathematical puzzle and did really well.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 22, 2018 at 08:30

      Yes I was surprised because I love dancing, having owned a ballet school in my younger years. As you say it is a fun activity which makes it easier for people to become involved. I would love to learn ballroom dancing and your husband obviously had the right approach! x

  • Reply Michele February 23, 2018 at 14:47

    I love dancing, but my husband does not. I used to do Zumba, which I loved, but struggle with that after a knew replacement. I hope to find a Zumba gold class. Dancing is fun and such great exercise!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2018 at 13:46

      My husband doesn’t like dancing either Michele but I do. I think Zumba is a great way to keep fit and it is such fun you don’t realise you are exercising.

  • Reply Leanne | February 23, 2018 at 15:58

    Ross bought some ballroom dancing lessons for us as a Christmas gift a few years ago (in preparation for our kids’ weddings). I’m really not as graceful or co-ordinated as I’d hoped to be, but it was fun to learn. I think I belong in the “dance like noone is watching” camp – I feel less self-conscious if nobody sees my grooving away at home to whatever is on the CD player 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2018 at 13:45

      I love dancing Leanne and would love to learn ballroom dancing but alas Mike is not that way inclined!

  • Reply Donna Parker February 24, 2018 at 05:56

    Then I’m got to go because I can’t stop, it feels too good. Thanks, this was fun and informative – dropped from #BloggersPitStop but always happy to be here. 🙂
    Hope this weekend treats you kindly. 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2018 at 13:45

      Thanks Donna, I love dancing too so we will just keep having fun!

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle February 26, 2018 at 08:46

    This is an interesting study and confirms other similar studies. They all say keep moving. I cannot dance although I would love to, it seems locked away inside of me. I am a bit like Leanne if nobody is around I can dance like a star with nobody else’s toes to stand on.


    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 26, 2018 at 09:23

      There is nothing better than dancing while no one is watching, Kathleen. Such freedom and joy that springs forth. x

  • Reply Donna February 26, 2018 at 09:28

    Hi, Sue – This is very interesting and inspiring to read. My mother has been a long time dancer (unfortunately I did not inherit that gene). She has always looked and been active like someone much younger. Maybe it’s time for me to reconsider my ‘but I can’t dance’ thoughts!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 26, 2018 at 10:14

      I actually did ballet, tap, jazz and highland dancing growing up and then had my own dance studio until my children were born. I never did ballroom but I just love dancing and probably am an embarrassment to my children and husband at times. Dancing just makes you feel joyful and alive! Go for it Donna! xx

  • Reply Linda | Hello Sweet Life February 26, 2018 at 10:42

    This is fascinating! Since my dad died of Alzheimer’s I’m always interested in new information about prevention.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 26, 2018 at 14:05

      Hi Linda, there are new breakthroughs all the time which is great. I can understand learning dance steps would help to keep our brains and bodies active which is a win/win. x

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski February 26, 2018 at 11:07

    I love dancing but don’t always get a chance to do it. Such a great reminder to get out and do it, though. Sometimes I turn on some music and dance by myself in my room.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 26, 2018 at 14:06

      I love dancing by myself Rebecca it is such wonderful outlet for stress and just to feel good!

  • Reply Christie Hawkes February 28, 2018 at 05:15

    I’m pretty uncoordinated, but love dancing to my favorite tunes in the privacy of my own home. 🙂 Maybe I’d have to actually learn some dance steps to get the full benefit though.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 28, 2018 at 15:23

      It is a shame people feel inhibited isn’t it Christie! I did ballet and had a ballet school so I do love to dance. Even dancing at home when no one sees you and the music is pumping out can fill you with joy!

  • Reply Marilyn Lesniak March 4, 2018 at 22:14

    Congratulations! Your post was my Most Clicked at #OverTheMoon this week. Visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please be sure to leave your link number or post title so we can be sure to visit!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 5, 2018 at 13:10

      Thanks Marilyn I’m very surprised!

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle March 7, 2018 at 17:34

    I think we should feature this post, Sue. It is fun and helpful, we will feature it in this weeks, Blogger’s Pit Stop.


    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 8, 2018 at 07:18

      Oh thank you Kathleen, what an honour! See you Friday xx

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