About 10 years ago, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine completed research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding that frequent dancing improves mental acuity and protects against dementia better than any other type of physical activity.
Stanford University published an article about the study, not because they are one of the top medical institutions in the country but, and this was news to me, they have a vibrant dance department. They tout the 2001 study and other research to promote the University’s many dance programs.
I’m not sure how this bodes for my personal sharpness or how I will fare into my golden years. Except for a few ballet lessons as a child, and as a pretend go-go dancer in our garage when I was six, I didn’t dance much as a child. Not as a teenager, nor as a young adult, except at weddings. Now, I dance several days a week.
When I was 45, I started doing Jazzercise and, when I’m not sick or travelling, I go most weekdays.
Despite popular belief, Jazzercise is a vigorous total-body workout. It comprises about 35 to 40 minutes of aerobic dance, followed by 20 minutes or so of strength training to music. Still, it’s like going to a party every day. If I weren’t burning some 500 calories an hour, I’d almost feel guilty going. Now, I learn it’s a total-body-and-mind workout.
People thought I was crazy when I wanted to have a Jazzercise party for my 50th birthday, but that’s exactly what I did. I had my 51st at IHOP.
I wonder how many more years before the intelligence kicks in.