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This is the secret to maintaining a young brain

A study that was published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience suggests that dancing helps your brain as much as it helps your brain.

The study consisted of an 18 month exercise programme that offered a weekly course of dancing lessons or a weekly course of endurance and flexibility training and involved a mix of men and women aged 68 and over, according to the Independent.

“In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age,” said the study’s lead author Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Magdeburg, Germany. “In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioural changes in terms of improved balance.”

As we age, the hippocampus area tends to shrink. This area deals with memory, learning and balance, among other things. It can be affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s. However, both dancing and endurance training were proved to reverse the shrinkage process.

Dancing was found to have a broader impacts and the reason might be that it required learning a new routine each week. Meanwhile, the endurance training involved repetitive exercises, like cycling or Nordic walking, which might have solicited the hippocampus to a lesser extent.

Based on these findings, the team of researchers is planning to create an exercise routine tailored to the elderly, which will combat the effect of age on the brain.

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