A University of Illinois-Urbana study showed that there might be something uniquely beneficial to the brain from social dancing compared with other exercise. Scientists analyzed the impact of country dance (with intricate moves from partner to partner) on older people’s brain function, compared with brisk walking and stretching/balance training. After six months, only the dance group showed improvement in “white matter” brain health (i.e., memory and processing speed). Researchers concluded movement mixed with socializing might be a potent force in slowing brain changes that come with aging.

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AuthorNancy Davis, SVP and Executive Director, GWI