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Four ways dancing supports your immune system

11 July 2019

From its anti-ageing benefits to its disease fighting abilities, dancing is a great way to strengthen your immune system and encourage wellness. We highlight some of the reasons why you should dance to give your immunity a boost:

1. It fights disease

Most people know about the physical benefits of dance. However, fewer are aware of how it can support the immune system’s ability to fight off germs. The benefits of exercise start to accumulate once physical activity becomes a routine habit. Studies show moderate to vigorous exercise reduces the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. Regular dance sessions have also been shown to lower blood fat and bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.

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2. Anti-ageing benefits

Did you know dancing has been described as the kale of exercise? A 2017 Frontiers in Human Neuroscience report looked at brain scans of elderly dancers and found it improved balance and brain structure. The study concluded dancing as a promising candidate in counteracting age-related decline in physical and mental abilities. Dance has been shown to slow down the physical and psychological signs of ageing, such as reducing the uncomfortable effects of menopause to improving gait in the elderly.

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3. Lowers stress and depression

A study published in 2013 concluded dance reduces symptoms of depression and lifts the spirits. This correlates to an increase in serotonin and endorphins and decreased cortisol (stress hormone) levels. “You appear to get a much bigger release of endorphins when you dance than during other forms of exercise; it also connects with the emotional centres in the brain,” according to dance psychologist Dr Peter Lovatt.

4. Improves cognitive function

Dance has been proven to have many positive effects on cognitive function. Researchers have shown that dance can work wonders for your brain, especially for the elderly. A 2011 study highlights the ability of dance to improve verbal fluency, delayed recall, and recognition memory function. Dancing has also been shown lower one’s risk of dementia to by up to 76%.

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