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Dancing may improve elderly people's health, study suggests

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, September 3, 2017  /  10:25 am
Dancing may improve elderly people's health, study suggests

Old Chinese people, originaly from the Muslim province of Xinjiang, dance at a park near the Temple of Heaven, on February 2, 2014. (shutterstock.com/danielcastromaia/File)

The elderly people have higher possibility of experiencing both physical and mental decline, such as Alzheimer’s.

One of the ways to maintain the health of their body and mind is by doing routine physical exercise, especially dancing.

According to Science Daily, a new study published this year in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal showed that exercise is beneficial in preventing physical and mental health decline for senior citizens.

“In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercises [dancing and endurance training] can both increase the area of the brain that declines with age,” said Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld, the lead author of the study. “[When comparing the two exercises], only dancing led to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.”

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The research's participants were required to involve in weekly dancing or endurance exercise for 18 months. Those who were part of the dancing group were challenged with different types of dances and changes, including new rhythm and movements.

As the result, the hippocampus area of their brain have improved. Hippocampus is said to be the area for memorizing and learning, but it also can be influenced by aging process and Alzheimer’s. But those who dance may get more benefit from being able to keep their balance as they routinely learned new aspects of the dance. (wir/kes)

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