The type of games that you probably loved as a child offer a great way to keep your brain sharp as you age, says Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age.”
People who regularly play non-digital games, like card or board games, score better on memory and thinking tests in their 70s than those who don’t.
That’s according to a recent study out of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
But wait! There’s even better news: seniors who suddenly increased game playing during their 70s also were more likely to maintain certain cognitive skills.
So, it’s never too late to dust off your copy of Monopoly or to learn bridge.
For the long-term study, which was published in The Journals of Gerontology, psychologists tested more than 1,000 people born in 1936 beginning at age 70 in the following skills:
- Thinking speed
- General thinking ability
The researchers repeated the tests every three years, until the study participants turned 79. At two ages — 70 and 76 — participants also reported how often they played non-digital games, such as bingo, cards, chess or crosswords. Those who played more games later in life experienced less decline in thinking skills from age 70 to 79. This protective effect was particularly noticeable in memory function and thinking speed.
The researchers noted that their findings were just the latest in a line of studies that suggest a link between engaging in activities throughout life and better thinking ability in old age.
Protecting your brain probably wasn’t a thought you had when you were 25. However, it’s a safe bet that as the number of candles on your birthday cake has increased, you have thought more about keeping your mind sharp.
If you have noticed some memory lapses in yourself or a loved one, contact your primary care physician right away.
Reference: Money Talks News (April 23, 2022) “This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age”