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Want to Keep Your Brain Youthful? You Should Be Dancing

A new study shows that the same moves you use to dance your way to a youthful body also work to keep your brain young, Psychology Today reports. Not only that, if your aging brain is already showing signs of degeneration, taking up dancing may help reverse the condition. The study also showed that, when it comes to maintaining your balance into your elder years, only dance training improved balance capabilities.

This is exciting because you can dance anytime, anywhere, and it doesn’t cost you a cent — just turn on the music and get moving. Dance is a form of exercise, of course, and the good news is that brain scans show that even those who start exercising in their late 70s can continue to boost their bodies and their brains well into their 90s by simply keeping moving. Exercise also addresses stress and emotions, which are contributors to age-related dementia.

Interestingly, research shows people living in northern latitudes have higher rates of death from dementia and Alzheimer's than those living in sunnier areas, suggesting vitamin D and/or sun exposure are important factors. I recently interviewed Dr. Lew Lim about the use of near-infrared light as a treatment for Alzheimer's, known as photobiomodulation, which is another exciting finding that is easy to do.

Diet is another foundational dementia prevention and treatment strategy. Eliminating wheat, refined carbs and sugar from your diet would be a wise start due to the toxic effects they can have on your body, including your brain. Beware of eliminating healthy carbs, though, especially fiber-rich foods. You need to focus on a diet that powers your brain and body with healthy fats, not net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).
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