Exergaming Against Alzheimer’s
Are you one of those who thinks that kids these days play too many video games?
You might be right but the science says that some gaming can be good for you - even if you’re over 50.
If you’ve played tennis, bowling, baseball, boxing or golf with your grandkids on their favourite gaming platform, you have partaken in ‘exergaming’!
Exergaming is exercising and gaming mashed together as the video game includes a form of physical exercise.
Physical interactive gaming became popular when Nintendo introduced ‘Wii’ and the games of bowling, tennis and more. It was seen as a way for parents to get their sedentary kids off the couch and moving.
And guess what, there are cognitive benefits of exergaming for FiftyUps!
Researchers tested two exergaming styles:
- exer-score, where cognitive effort was increased by riding a bike, collecting coins and matching colours at various speeds
- exer-tour, where cognitive effort was passive by riding a bike on a scenic path without crashing
The research revealed that mixing the physical activity of riding a bicycle with the mental activity of collecting coins and matching colours fosters improved brain health and that helps reduce the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The research also shows that combining physical exercise with mental exercise simultaneously improves cognitive function in older adults.
Keeping our aging brains fit and functioning is key to avoiding early onset of Alzheimer's, but how you keep it fit seems to matter as well.
Brain teasers like puzzles and Sudoku are fun, but offering to engage the grandkids in a game of Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Bowling, and the likes might be better for your physical and mental health!