Dancing is the best physical activity to ward off Alzheimer's and dementia, according to a new study. Although some cognitive activities, such as solving puzzles, offer some benefits, dancing is the only physical activity to have any meaningful effect.
That's because dancing "lights up" certain areas of the brain, according to researchers, that recalls old information as well as responding to new stimuli. In a way, dancing allows your cerebral cortex to rewire itself, creating new neural pathways and challenges the brain in ways it hasn't in a long time for many Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported the results of a 21-year study on mental acuity in adults 75 and older. The study was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and funded by the National Institute on Aging and was designed to monitor the effect that various activities had on rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.