Moving and socializing appears to perk up the aging brain.
So for the new study, which was published this month in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana and other schools decided to look at the effects of several different types of exercise on the wiring and the function of older people’s brains.
They began by recruiting 174 healthy people in their 60s and 70s with no signs of cognitive impairment. Most were sedentary, although some occasionally exercised.
In March I participated in a local "Dancing with the Stars" event for charity. It required that each of us (all non-dancers) learn an actual routine from the TV show and perform it with a professional partner. I found the experience so compelling and so much fun that I am continuing to dance. It can be incredibly aerobic and is very mentally challenging. But most of all, it is really fun. I've always counseled my patients to find the kind of exercise that feels joyful. If you have ever thought about dancing and were afraid to try....take the plunge!!!