“New studies show that dancing increases your memory and helps prevent a wide variety of diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” Bragg said in a press release.
Bragg’s father, Dr. Paul C. Bragg, was the originator of health stores in the United States, in 1912. For both father and daughter, dancing became a way of life.
Today, the 87-year-old Bragg sees herself as a crusader, born to carry on her father’s health movement, which pioneered many approaches that today would be considered “‘alternative medicine.”
“I have been dancing all of my life, and it’s not surprising to me that medical science is proving what I’ve known all along,” said Bragg.
Dancing has indeed been shown to help people with Parkinson’s recover balance and muscle control, as well as to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia by 50 percent, which is expected to strike nearly 14 million Americans over the next 30 years.
“Think of the millions who can avoid this trauma simply by dancing,” said Bragg, the author of 10 best-selling “self-health” books.
According to a University of California Berkeley report, dancing has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety and stress and boost self-esteem. The New York Times also recently reported that dancing improves how the brain processes memory. Another study comparing the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggested there might be something unique about social dancing.
In fact, dancing seems to increase cognitive acuity at all ages in a singular way, since they demand split-second decisions and exercise neuronal synapses. Dancing also helps keep the only neural connection to memory strong and efficient.
“My memories of dancing with Fred Astaire, Lawrence Welk, Arthur Murray and Gene Kelly are crystal-clear and so is my memory of the great time I had dancing last night,” said Bragg.