4 Your Health: Dancing away from dementia - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

4 Your Health: Dancing away from dementia

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A new study reveals that dancing may dramatically reduce your chances of becoming a victim of Alzheimer's disease. That is not the only reason for stepping out to a ballroom near you.

Mystic Rhythms Ballroom, in Oro Valley, teaches people how to dance. Those steps include, The Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, the Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba and Jive, just to name a few. On the surface they are all fun and great exercise but they could also extend your life and even save it.

A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, followed a group of senior citizens over a 21-year period. Researchers found that of all the activities that lowered the risk of dementia, it is social dancing that reduces that risk by a staggering 76 percent.

According to researchers, it is all about making rapid fire decisions and constantly forming new neural paths in your brain.

Eileen O'Daly, the owner of Mystic Rhythms Ballroom, said a healthy brain is just one of the benefits of ballroom dancing.

"It is such an intense workout, not only physically but mentally because you are following an instruction", said O'Daly. "For me, it's my stress relief, it's my time to be out of the world."

O'Daly said she has suffered with two herniated discs for years and even considered surgery, until she started dancing.

"My surgeon still calls me and says Eileen, how are you doing", said O'Daly. "I say, well hello doctor, I'm sorry to tell you but I'm doing tango really well."

Besides the many health benefits of ballroom dancing, O'Daly said there are other great reasons to hit the dance floor no matter what your age.

"It's beautiful, it's formal, it's elegant, it's fun.", said O'Daly.

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