Cardio Dance: Healthy Heart Healthy Mind

Cardio DanceCardio Dance: Healthy Heart, Healthy Mind!
I became interested in cardio dance and memory several years ago when my older students began to tell me that their memories seemed to improve after they took my class.
I was teaching mostly cardio dance in those days. I started with simple steps and built up to a pretty complex routine.
There has to be a connection I thought, between the physical movement, making your brain learn this routine, and improved memory.
I’m no scientist but I was curious. So I started to break it down.
What I was having people do is learn short phrases of movement and then link them together. The cardio dance routine required them to move forward and back, side to side, remember specific steps; and stay in rhythm.
This was a real challenge for many of my students who had never done anything like this before. As they got more proficient, the class became a social gathering; because of this shared experience.
Cardio DanceMy students felt energized afterwards, not exhausted. They told me that besides getting a good body workout they were getting a memory workout as well. They said they could actually remember things better.
I wondered if there was science to support our anecdotal experience.
I contacted a couple of local Alzheimer’s specialists (there was no internet back then) and they told me – you’re probably right but there weren’t any specific studies on this more than 20 years ago.
Even now the research is not conclusive. But, technology in the last 15 years has allowed science to discover a lot more about the brain.
Vascular memory loss has been linked to heart disease and cardio fitness is a major factor in preventing and managing that issue. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain improving mental function. Cardio fitness has been shown to reduce loss of brain cells in older adults.
A study of 1,449 older adults shows those who in middle age exercised vigorously enough to perspire and breathe hard for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week reduced their risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 60 percent.*
But cardio is just part of the equation.
Cardio DanceResearch published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that certain types of dance, particularly with routines to learn and remember, may help prevent age-onset memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. “…. cognitive activity may stave off dementia by increasing a person’s “cognitive reserve.” **
And a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, says activities that combined mental and social as well as physical stimulation offered the greatest protection against dementia***
Activity is the active word. Be physically active, mentally active and socially active, preferably all at once. Taking a Cardio Dance class or getting together with friends to do a Cardio Dance DVD is a good place to start. And to this day, when I start my cardio dance class I say,
“It’s time to workout our hearts and minds!”

*Rovio, Suvi; Kareholt, Ingemar; Helkala, Eeva-Liisa; Viitanen, Matti; Winblad, Bengt; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Soininen, Hilkka; Nissinen, Aulikki; and Kivipelto, Miia. “Leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” The Lancet Neurology; published online Oct. 4, 2005.
** Dr Joe Verghese, lead author of study conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, N Engl J Med, 2003; 348:2508-2516.
***Karp, Anita; Paillard-Borg, Stephanie; Wang, Hui-Xin; Silverstein, Merrill; Winblad, Bengt; and Fratiglioni, Laura. “Mental, Physical and Social Components in Common Leisure Activities in Old Age in Relation to Dementia: Findings from the Kungsholmen Project.” Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Philadelphia, Penn., July 17 – 22, 2004. Abstract published in Neurobiology of Aging, July 2004, Vol. 25, S2: p. S313.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761497/

Compared with the control group, the exercise group significantly improved in verbal fluency (p = 0.048), word list delayed recall (p = 0.038), word list recognition (p = 0.007), and total CERAD-K score (p = 0.037)

  • Metabolic syndrome (MS) is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment.
  • Aerobic exercise improves cognitive function in elderly people and contributes to the prevention of degenerative neurological disease and brain damage. Dance sport is a form of aerobic exercise that has the additional benefits of stimulating the emotions, promoting social interaction, and exposing subjects to acoustic stimulation and music.
  • In the present study, dance exercise for a 6-month period improved cognitive function in older adults with MS. In particular, positive effects were observed in verbal fluency, word list delayed recall, word list recognition, and the total CERAD-K score.
  • Our data suggest that the implementation of dance exercise programs may be an effective means of prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders.
  • http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/abstract

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It’s Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion FlashFashion Flash is hosted this week by me, Mirabai Holland, creator of the Health & Fitness Blog Moving Free With Mirabai
February is Heart Month, and one of the most important things you can do for your heart is reduce stress. What better way to reduce your stress and improve your body image at the same time than to click-in to Fashion Flash. Spend a little ME TIME with us Fashion Flash Bloggers. Reduce your stress, and get the latest in Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness straight from the Heart!

DivaDebbi-icon-an-printIt’s well known that a glass or two of red wine can be good for your heart….but what about your face? DivaDebbi found a red wine mask that delivers a gorgeous glow.

 

 

society-wellness BANNER_FASHION FLASHMelanie loves to post about vitamins and supplements on Society Wellness, it is one of her favorite topics. In this post she wants to know, have you taken the love pill? Hint: The color of it is not blue. Find out what this is all about in this Valentines post.

 

 

CHIC AT ANY AGE LOGO_Fachion FlashLove is in the air. Can we keep romance alive at any age?

 

 

 

 

 

FFBlackCat-300x96Plus Size Model and healthy eating and image advocate, Robyn Lawley is the first plus size model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

 

 

Best-of-Everything-After-50-logo-for-FF-groupBarbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50, wants every woman to love her heart — and every part of her body — this Valentine’s Day, and all year long. Here are her best tips to get started 

 

 

 

ABwithRlogo-300x212agingbackwardssmallerWant to stay young? Jackie Silver from AgingBackwards.com asks, “Could this be the fountain of youth?”

 

 

 

 

PRIMEBEAUTYScreen-Shot-2012-05-28-at-6.15.05-AM-300x62Drugstore cosmetics have come a long way in recent years. Find out what Prime Beauty’s favorite drugstore brand is and why.

 

 

nononsensebeauty-300x74Deb of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog looks at the French paradox during heart health month

 

 

 

second lives club_Fashion Flash copyOn Valentine’s Day we celebrate hearts inflamed.   But beware because it’s inflammation – and not cholesterol – that can cause heart disease according to a latest study.  Ruth of Second Lives Club emotes on the subject.

 

Maribai_Holland3RED HI KICKAccording to the National Institutes of Health a half hour of moderate aerobic exercise a day can reduce risk of heart attack by 50% and have a positive effect on most of the problems associated with aging.
Cardio energizes your body from the inside out. Your heart is pumping like mad. Your lungs and arteries are hard at work delivering the oxygen that you need to keep going.
Your muscles are getting a great workout carrying your body around. You’re burning a bunch of calories and if you keep it up for 30 minutes or more your natural mood enhancers the endorphins kick in and you get the exerciser’s high.

In case you forgot, aerobics is any exercise using your large muscle groups to increase the body’s need for oxygen over an extended period of time. Low impact Cardio Dance, Brisk Walking, Jogging, Biking and Swimming, are all good forms of aerobic exercise.

You can see why you’d want to get a daily dose of aerobic exercise.
It goes a long way toward reducing our risk for disease, managing our weight, and lightening our mood to help us stay fabulous forever.
So dust off your sneakers and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

MIRABAIwomans-heart-jumpingVALENTINE SPECIAL! Put LOVE in at Checkout and Get 15% Off All Mirabai Holland Exercise Videos! Good Until February 14, 2015

EASE INTO THE BEST SHAPE OF YOUR LIFE!

 

 

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