The physical benefits of Nia seem obvious- increased cardio health, flexibility, mobility and more. (So much more!)  But a major study finds that dancing makes you smarter.  "Dancing increases cognitive acuity at all ages." And it does so where other physical activities fail! "...cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments [were studied.

The physical benefits of Nia seem obvious- increased cardio health, flexibility, mobility and more. (So much more!)  But a major study finds that dancing makes you smarter.  "Dancing increases cognitive acuity at all ages." And it does so where other physical activities fail!

"...cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments [were studied.] And they studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework. 

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.

There was one important exceptionthe only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing. 
 

Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia

Bicycling and swimming - 0%

Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week - 47%

Playing golf - 0%

Dancing frequently - 76%.   That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical. 

So, what does dancing do that the other things don't?  It makes those beautiful, new neural pathways in the brain.  Ya gotta keep making them your whole life long.  And the brain won't make them if it's not needed.  Dancing requires split second decisions.  Left or right, forward or back, which way do I go?  

So DANCE for your Body, DANCE for your Mind, and read this great article from Standford.  It's easy to read and interesting to boot.  

And then come to Nia and dance your brains... IN!  

http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm