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Over 60? This Kind Of Cardio Can Sharpen Your Brain Fast, Says Science

It activates the brain in more ways than one.

When people joke around about getting older, it's pretty common to hear use of the age-old expression, "You're only as old as you feel." Well, if you do feel like you're getting older—either mentally or physically—it's time to start taking action. It's always a great idea to walk each day and to make sure you're feeding your body nutritious foods. Reading and any sort of mind exercises are all beneficial habits to get into as well. But we suggest being active with something that will give your body, mind, and soul a healthy workout. There's a type of cardio that sharpens your brain fast, according to science, and we have the scoop.

Get excited, because this kind of workout will help you feel and look younger while you're having a ton of fun in the process. Recent research reveals a physical activity/type of cardio that sharpens the brain and promotes an overall healthier life. Read on to find out what it is, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Dancing can help sharpen your brain, in addition to giving you some new fancy footwork

women doing group fitness dance class

Whether you're feeling the urge to salsa, tango, or crank up the 70s top tunes and disco to your heart's content, you can help sharpen your brain and perhaps pick up some new moves on the dance floor. And that's not all—you'll be the envy of all of your friends when you show them your fancy footwork!

This recent research found that dancing enhances the overall well-being of older individuals when it comes to their aging process, and the benefits are substantial. According to research performed by Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases and published in the National Library of Medicine, dancing stimulates your brain and enhances intellectual peripheries, greater than other types of exercises or doing none at all. You can benefit physically, even following a short dance session. The positive developments noted in the research significantly improve physiological, motor control, and cognitive abilities.

Related: The Best Cardio Exercises To Burn Fat Fast—Without Equipment

Dancing activates the brain in more ways than one

women group dance class

According to an article published via Harvard Medical School, synchronizing movement with music—aka dancing—establishes a "pleasure double play." Dancing activates the brain's motor and sensory circuits, and music excites the reward centers in your brain.

Research backs up how beneficial dancing is to your brain

older couple dancing in a dance class

Previous research performed by Albert Einstein College of Medicine and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dancing can better the condition of your brain. The scientists observed the relationship between recreational activities and dementia in participants above 75 years of age. They researched a total of 11 activities, including swimming, tennis, cycling, bowling, walking, and golf. One of the activities observed resulted in a lower risk of developing dementia in the individuals studied. Can you guess what that is? Dancing!

Social Dance at Stanford interestingly took this study a step further by addressing the question, "why type of dancing can result in increased mental intelligence?" They looked at the group of participants who were studied (seniors over 75). They concluded that the main form of dancing these seniors likely performed in their retirement was "freestyle social dancing"—something they did when they were younger. Examples of "freestyle social dancing" include the waltz, swing, and basic foxtrot.

Yet another previous study documented by scientists from Minot State University in North Dakota discovered that Zumba can be a mood booster and enhances the brain's ability to make decisions, in addition to visual recognition.

Nevertheless, dancing in general is a great form of cardio, and cardio can enhance the health of your brain (in addition to decreasing inflammation, lowering stress, and enhancing blood flow to your brain). So, if you're feeling inspired to put on your dancing shoes, turn on the music, and feed your body with some entertaining fitness, we can't say we blame you!

For more…

senior man holding weight

For more Mind + Body news, check out The Best Outdoor Cardio Exercises To Get Toned Fast, Trainer Says and Get Killer Abs Fast With These 3 Effective Exercises, Trainer Says.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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