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Doing Life Together

ID-100220921Music, dance, drawing, reading, listening to poetry–all ways we can engage the arts. But is there a connection between staying young and engaging these activities?

Yes, engaging in the arts helps you stay young.

1) Take up dancing. Dancing is not only aerobic but it challenges the brain. So the benefit of improved blood flow to the brain and the mental tasks involved in dancing have been shown to lower the risk of dementia. Maybe it’s time to take that salsa class or sign up for Zumba and dance your way into a healthier brain.

2) Take up an instrument or continue to play one. For years, I have played the piano and flute because I enjoy it. But now I know that continuing to play those instruments could help my aging brain. A study from Stanford University School of Medicine showed that baroque music was especially good. So pull out that Bach piece and improve your rusty playing skills. It’s not only relaxing for many of us, but engages our brains in ways that help memory and focus.

3) Read poetry. Drink it in, don’t be distracted and think about the deeper meaning of the poem. Too often we read without focusing and read too many things, downloading too much information to our brains. This isn’t good. But if we take a poem, read it with focus, think about it and allow the beauty of poetry to sink in, this is good for the brain. Go ahead, pull out a classic like, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost and meditate on it. Better yet, read portions of the Song of Solomon and let it sink into your soul. It’s not only good for your spirit, but also your brain.

 

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