DIET AND FITNESS:

Tango Is Medicine --Top 7 Health
Benefits
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January 22, 2015
By Heidi Lough, Contributing Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors, Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other
members of our Editorial Board.]





Humans have always danced. Whether for ritualistic reasons,
for exercise or simply for pure pleasure, our love as a species
of music and movement is universal across all cultures. In
Argentina one dance form reigns supreme above all others -
tango. The origins of the dance are contested, yet since its
birth (whether in sordid brothels or the dance halls of high
society) and popularisation its appeal has more than endured;
more than 150 years on, it remains a cornerstone of Argentine
identity.

It's always such a joy to stumble across an assertion reliably
backed up by research that something fun has excellent health
benefits. One intimate form of physical activity immediately
springs to mind, but what about tango? Some would maintain
sex and tango are inextricably linked.

In fact,  only last night as I sat in a packed and oppressively
stuffy Buenos Aires dance hall, I overwhelmed by the
sensuality exhibited by the couples as they glided across the
stage, the sheen of sweat on their bodies belying the
effortlessness of their movements.

You could be forgiven for thinking of tango simply as the
"vertical expression of a horizontal desire"
(http://www.economist.com/node/893086). However,
studies have proven that beyond the titillation and the the
tantalising sense of longing associated with the dance, there
are tangible health benefits seen in those who dance tango on
a regular basis.

1.
Tango Improves Balance, Reduces Your Risk of Falling

A 2008 study led by researchers at McGill university examining
the effects of dancing tango on the balance of the elderly
found that after 12 weeks (of dancing 3 hour-long sessions
per week) there were signs of improvement (McKinley et al).

The study concluded that what distinguishes the benefits
gained from dancing Argentine tango from those of other
forms of partnered dance was the emphasis on quick changes
of direction, standing on one foot and pivoting - all of which
lead to increased flexibility, strength stability and balance.

2.
Tango Wards Off Dementia

A longitudinal study by the New England Journal of Medicine
concluded in 2003 that dancing regularly was the only physical
activity associated with a lower risk of dementia. I

n 2005 McGill University conducted a study into the effects of
tango and walking on neurodegenerative disorders, including
Alzeimer's and other forms of dementia.

Due to its complex steps and improvisational elements tango
has been shown to improve signs of age-related cognitive
decline (e.g. improved results on memory tests) more than
walking and other dance forms.

3.
Tango Helps Banish Parkinson's

Parkinson's is a disease whose physical effects are
characterised by stiffness, difficulties with movement and
shaking.

In 2010 the Parkinson's Disease Foundation ran a study
investigating the effects of tango on those suffering from the
disease.

The results showed that once again the dance had a positive
impact on reducing symptoms. Dr. Earhart, who ran the study,
concluded that while tango had similar effects to other forms
of exercise, sufferers of PD were more likely to keep up tango
(thereby prolonging its impact) simply because it is so
enjoyable!

4.
Tango Helps Combat Depression

The benefits of dancing tango are not limited to those
advanced in years. Studies have convincingly shown that music
and dance improve mental health in those of all ages; tango, in
particular, is particularly effective in reducing symptoms of
depression and anxiety.

And here's a shocker. Tango is about as good as some
medications.  A 2012 study led by Dr. R Pinniger from the
University of New England concluded that tango is as effective
as medication in reducing psychological distress in participants
of the study, all of whom reported to suffer some form of
depression and/or anxiety.  The effects of tango proved
comparable with those of medication reported by those who
participated.  

5.
Tango Helps Insomnia

Trouble sleeping? In a further investigation by Dr. Pinniger's
team from the Univerity of England, it was concluded that
tango had an effect in improving insomnia - both at post test
(after the 8 week trial) and at follow-up (one month after the
trial) stage.

6.
Tango Keeps Cortisol Levels Down (and Improves
Testosterone Levels)

Increased cortisol levels gradually wear the body down,
inhibiting our ability to sleep, lowering our sex drive and
leading to weight gain.

A 2009 study by Goethe university on emotional and
neurohumoral effects of dancing Argentine tango found that
decreases of cortisol concentrations were found with the
presence of music.

It also concluded that increases of testosterone levels noted
were due to the presence of a partner - these increased levels
may lead to improved sex drive and mental well-being.

7.
Tango Provides All the Usual Benefits of Exercise

By dancing tango you will reap the benefits of regularly taking
any form of exercise; it is a physically demanding dance which
will lead to increased muscle tone, improved stamina, better
posture, improved heart function and much more besides.  


























Related:
Why Are My Hands Shaking?-Causes and Top 10 Remedies

Vitamin D Deficiency -Symptoms and Top 10 Remedies

Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -Symptoms and 10 Remedies

Meniere's Disease-Natural Remedies

How Much Is Too Much Salt?

Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics


Normal Fasting Blood Sugar

Natural Insulin Foods That Help You Control Your Blood Sugar

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes-Lingering Health Dangers from
Volcanic Ash /  Vitamin B3 (Niacin)-A Powerful Ally Against
Cholesterol / Swollen Ankles -Causes and Cures//How Much
Is Too Much Salt? /Sugar-The Disease Connection / Are Diet
Sodas Bad for Your Health? // Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis
/
Healing Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist / Foods
That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/ Foods
That Reduce Blood Pressure

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Tango helps to improve your balance
and fight depression.