SaddleBrookers dance to bigger and better brains

A very happy crew of Level 1 Beginner and returning line dancers kicks off their second week of the summer Line Dance series with instructor Rebecca Magdanz, good fun and exercise!

Dr. Mark Magdanz

This month let’s talk about brain/body health; we want to grow new and maintain old connections. What’s the fastest way to improve brain function? Literally, play in its many forms is among the very best. The hit parade on the best activities for your brain includes: learning and reading new things, socialization, any and all exercise, memorization, listening to music, minimizing stress, moving in ever-changing patterns and eating right. We are fortunate to have many choices for exercise in SB; all are good in their own way. So, do your favorites as much as you can. The brain improves faster when we give it some challenges at the same time. Therefore, this column is not going to talk about bikes, weights, swimming or repetitive aerobic classes. All good for the oxygen needs, but not brain expanders.

Mental games have been touted as a means to keep your brain agile and strong. Brain teasers, crosswords, puzzles, Sudoku. Board and card games do the same but with the added dimension of socialization with friends. Bridge can be a lifelong passion. Chess can be great, checkers not so hot. New research indicates that results from games alone are much less helpful than physical exercise that includes the mind. The problem is board/card games don’t give us an oxygen push that our brain badly needs.

It turns out that among the very best activities is dancing in all forms that include a group; Partners and line dancing! It’s a group laughing, learning and perfecting movements together on a floor. Dancing provides some aerobic activity, learning, balance, coordination, social interaction and fun. Lots of laughter is also proven to be great for the immune system. Since music is also a component of dance-note it has a multitude of proven mental benefits.

Among the biggest mental functions to prevent brain decline is to get out of your house and play more with others.

If you call after reading this, it will be three-four weeks into the current dance series, so be planning ahead to list yourself for the series beginning in mid-October. This fall beginner classes will be enjoyed Monday and Thursday. The more advanced group dances on Monday and/or Tuesday. Note: The Level 2/Intermediate class is substantially more vigorous and the dances more complex, so plan to be in the beginner group at least one series unless you are experienced and quite fit. Rebecca takes pride in professionally modifying dance components to accommodate physical limitations, safety, comfort and in developing her dancers’ physical skills.

Classes for fall 2018/winter 2019 are accepting reservations and now is the time to place your name on one of the class lists. Contact Rebecca Magdanz at [email protected] or phone 818-2656. Rebecca is an 11+ year full-time SaddleBrooke resident teaching classes about 42 weeks each year. Rebecca has taught our fellow residents in the SaddleBrooke community for over 10 years.