Playing Games Is Good for Your Health

Playing Games is Good for Your Health

What do these phrases have in common? “Come on down!” “I’d like to buy a vowel.” “I’ll take ‘Animals’ for $500, Alex.” “Tag you’re it!” “Duck, duck, duck, GOOSE!” “Bingo!!” “I can name that tune in 5 notes.”

If you said game shows and/or games, then you are correct! Did the phrases conjure up Images and memories of the past? Make you smile? Conjure up feelings that you may not have felt in some time? Games are not only good for your heart they’re also good for your memory and enjoying life.

According to an article on Psych Central, play is just as important for adults as it is for children. Play brings joy, aids in problem solving, and helps keep creativity and relationships strong. Psychiatrist Stuart Brown, MD wrote “…it’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing… This might seem surprising until you consider everything that constitutes play. Play is art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting and daydreaming.”

 

Playing Games are Fun and Provide Tremendous Benefits

Dozens of articles and studies have been written on the benefits of playing games throughout all stages of life. The importance doesn’t lessen as one reaches their golden years, in fact, it may be even more important to play games as you age.

 

Samvdna Care has an interesting article outlining 7 wonderful benefits of playing games. These benefits are:

  • Creates happiness and reduces stress: There is always a good amount of laughter. Laughing together and having fun can keep seniors happy and healthy.
  • An opportunity to spend time together and socialize: Often friends and family have different schedules. But playing games, even for a short while, with your loved ones is a perfect way to spend time together.  
  • Memory formation and cognitive skills: Creative indoor games help the brain retain and build cognitive associations well into old age.
  • Keeps the risks for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia at bay: A stronger brain has lower risks of losing its power and thus reduces the risk of cognitive decline, such as associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Lowers blood pressure: Laughter helps in producing endorphins that naturally help muscles to relax and blood to circulate which can lower blood pressure.
  • Improves immune system: Positive feelings and thoughts improve immunity by releasing chemicals that fight stress and boosts the immune system.
  • Therapy treatment for coordination and dexterity: Many board games require the use of fine motor skills to pick up or move pieces, actions that take both coordination and dexterity.

 

There are more Options than just Cards and Board Games

Sure, cards and board games are loads of fun in and of themselves, but they are not a begin all and end all to game play. Anything from arts and crafts to social gatherings and bird watching can be options for how someone wants to play and have fun.  

Many places offer free, and/or low cost, craft activities for persons of all ages to enjoy. If none are readily available close to you create one yourself by inviting a few friends over to play. Some crafty ideas to consider are; sketching, painting, quilting, ceramics, jewelry making, and even finger painting! You’d be amazed at the fabulous works that can be created with finger painting. Plus, the sensation of making a controlled mess can be quite freeing.

Social gatherings are another form of important play that further incorporates socialization as well.  From costume contests, to karaoke, to trivia the ideas of things to do in a social gathering are endless. This is yet another option that is free, and/or low-cost, depending on where you go or if you host it yourself.

Bird watching, along with gardening and other outside activities, allows the play to be brought to the great outdoors. Sunshine, fresh air, and communing with nature are beneficial for your wellbeing. Many local areas host community gardens or may have local farms that can be visited for free or for a low cost.

For a more complete listing of ideas visit: Great Senior Living

 

But Cards and Board Games are also Important Options

The added benefits of the more traditional games include being well-known with a lower learning curve than other options, being readily available, and often played. If traditional games are more to your liking be sure to check out the items on sale this week.

Marinoff Low Vision Playing Cards enable individuals with vision problems to more easily see the numbers on the cards. They come with 1.25-inch-high numbers. (SKU: 308250)

Jumbo Braille Dominoes (Double Six) (Raised Dots) are standard double six dominoes that have raised, tactile, black colored dots. Great for any domino game, jumbo pieces measure 1″ x 2″. Includes a black storage case. (SKU: GAM105)

Tactile Connect Four has holes in one color of the pieces so that those who are blind or visually impaired can play tactually. Drop the chips vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The first person to get four of their pieces in a row win. (SKU: 188643)

 

Looking to order other types of games? Check out ila’s Games and Education.

 

This post was written by Alicia Baucom