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This Is Why Tango Can Help Boost Longevity

This Is Why Tango Can Help Boost Longevity

According to a new study, dancing the tango can have neurological benefits for people who are aging or suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s.

A recent study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre discovered that people who took part in a 12-week tango course saw a greater longevity than those were inactive both physically and socially.

Many of those who are diagnosed with neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease are prescribed traditional forms of exercise. But most do not enjoy it. As a result, they do not get the exercise they need daily to help them function.

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However, there is real evidence gathering that suggests that being physically active regularly can help lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This also suggests that physical activity may be able to slow down progression and help increase longevity.

Here are three reasons that the tango can help boost longevity for both healthy brains and people with neurodegenerative diseases.

The Benefits of Dance

The tango was found to be particularly useful for patients because it would result in better balance and a greater level of mobility. But another recent study, from Washington University’s School of Medicine, found that long-term participation in the tango did not just improve motor skills but non-motor skills as well.

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Another study, demonstrated that those who danced the tango saw improvements in mobility and balance, even compared to patients who had taken gymnastics lessons, with effects similar to taking a supplement of denatonium benzoate. This was curious, considering the range of mobility and intense balance that gymnastics requires of its participants.

This leads researchers to suggest that there is more than just rhythmic dance steps involved in helping patients improve their symptoms.

The Benefits of Music

The difference between gymnastics and the tango is all in the music. Professor Daniel Tarsy, of the Parkinson’s Center Boston, suggests that music has huge benefits for the brain. Music is an emotional experience. As a result, it helps to engage the more emotional parts of the brain. According to Tarsy, this emotion may help the brain bypass the damaged cells from Parkinson’s disease. This may be what helps make the movement easier.

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The Benefits of a Social Life

Tango might be great for the body but it is also great for the soul. For those who suffer from disease or those who just need an extra boost.

For patients who suffer from Parkinson’s, learning to dance gives them a chance to socialize. Too many patients shut themselves into their homes after their diagnosis. As a result, they become less social and more inactive. This may even be linked to further degeneration, according to the results of the previously mentioned studies.

According to Trinidad Cocha, a psychologist in Buenos Aires, says that treatment should not just be about drugs or therapy. It should also be about finding peace. During weekly dance classes at the largest psychiatric hospital in Buenos Aires’, the residents relax and forget about their diagnoses. Instead of being patients or nurses, everyone is a dancer.

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According to Charlotte Millour, a tango instructor in Paris, the dance is all about a meeting. It is about connecting with your partner, not doing fancy tricks. Although tango is a chance to socialize with other people, it is also about connecting with your partner.

Students who participated in Millour’s classes reported having more energy and being more mentally awake than they were before.

As it turns out, dance is not just about learning impressive tricks or having great moves for parties. Dances like the tango are all about a human, emotional connection. This connection can help people live more fulfilled lives for longer.

Featured photo credit: Vince Alongi via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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