Defining the Mind and Body Connection

Leslie and students getting fit at Aegis Living of Ventura.

by Leslie Sokol

The connection between your physical and mental well-being is fascinating. To achieve lasting health, you need to understand the importance of how your mind and body work together to build overall well-being. A healthy body keeps you fit and active. A healthy mind keeps you focused and engaged.

Brain areas that control movement are plugged into networks that orchestrate thinking and planning as well as control of involuntary bodily functions. These areas in the brain are where mind-body links are formed. Every time you move your muscles, sensory receptors send information to your brain about what’s happening. Doing this intentionally through exercise helps your mind become more aware of your body’s position in space, increasing your physical self-awareness. According to a promising new study of exercise, memory and aging, a single, moderate workout may immediately change how your brain functions and how well you recognize common names and similar information.

Dancing and the Mind-Body Connection

Exercise is a great way to strengthen your mind-body connection. Increasing physical activity directly contributes to improved mental health, stability and overall wellness. There are many types of exercise that connect your mind and body, including dance, tai chi, yoga, and walking. Recent studies show that exercises focusing on the mind-body connection can improve your mood and reduce signs of depression.

Working with Seniors on a daily basis, I see firsthand how dance and movement improves my students’ physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It lifts their spirits, motivates them, gives them hope, energy and stamina to live a long and healthy life. Moving to music puts you in a positive and happy state of mind. It brings out creativity, imagination, and fond memories! Research has shown that the benefits of incorporating dance into your exercise regimen range from memory improvement to stronger neuronal connections. Also, from the physical standpoint, dance and exercise improve conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and neurological conditions in middle-aged and elderly adults.

When you exercise, you are doing something wonderful for your body and mind. Feeling strong and confident both mentally and physically is the best! Also, enjoying what you do is so important and rewarding! So, let’s get moving! Sound mind, Sound body!

Leslie Sokol is the creator and founder of the adult dance and fitness program For the Young at Heart. She has been teaching adults and children for forty-five years. You can watch For the Young at Heart by visiting her YouTube Channel or on TVSB. She also teaches in retirement communities throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

For more information contact Leslie at [email protected] 805-312-8089
or visit the website:

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