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The amazing health benefits of video games

Senior Wellness | Sep 23, 2015

Video games have been a part of American culture for over 30 years. As they have become more popular - and technology has progressed - they are are no longer just kid's games. Many different kinds of people enjoy electronic games.

Video games are beneficial to healthy aging. There are a variety of different games you can play and you can play them in many unique ways.

"Video games can provide the fun mental stimulation you need."

Why should you play
After you retire, its good to relax but you still need mental stimulation. If you find yourself with lots of free time, it is important you spend some part of your day keeping your brain focused and challenged. Video games can provide the fun mental stimulation you need.

Recently, North Carolina State University performed a study showing older adults who played video games demonstrated better positivity, social functioning and overall well-being than those who did not play.

There have been a variety of studies that have proven the mental and physical benefits of video games for older adults. A University of California study concluded that video games were a powerful tool that may fight senior depression and a University of Illinois experiment discovered that cognitive training provided by video games can improve balance in aging adults.

What you can play
What type of game should you play to see these kinds of results? Almost any game will offer some form of hand eye coordination. The most basic video games will ask you to press buttons or move controls in response to visual stimuli.

You should pick a game that you find fun. Everyday Health claims seniors are usually interested in games that replicate activities they are already familiar with. If you're a sports fan, then you can use motion controllers to play baseball or tennis. If you like a particular board game or game show, there are versions of the activity available online.

You can play games that encourage exercise and movement when you are looking for something to get you up and going. If you need a mental exercise, simple puzzle games might be a better choice. You can find video game versions of Sudoku that will not only offer limitless challenges, but can save your progress and adjust difficulty.

Where can you play
Video games consoles like Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox can easily be plugged into a TV. One of the primary advantages of consoles is the multi-player function. Many players can enjoy the game at the same time. Even if they are not physically there, you can play with friends and family online.

Motion capture technology allows you to play console games without complicated controllers. You can bowl, fish, golf and paddle down white water rapids with some easy arm movements. It's a great form of simple exercise. In addition, there are games that will be able to measure your personal fitness and recommend the best activities for you.

Some of the same games offered by the big gaming console companies are available on phones or computing pads. You can play these games with a touchscreen or a stylus wand. It's a convenient method for keeping a memory exercise or engaging brain puzzle on your person at all times. Mobile games for seniors are usually inexpensive and easy to find. Browse the Internet and find free memory games online.

If you really want to get out of the house and try something new, grab a handful of quarters and head to the local arcade.