Playing Games is Good For Your Health, Seriously
By Ava Roman Why is playing games good for your health? Let us count the ways. As adults, we love hearing children laugh and giggle while playing. Seeing these joyous moments may bring us back to simpler times when we were younger and barely had a care in the world. It may sound silly, but playing can actually benefit you as an adult. Here is why playing is good for your health – seriously.
What Does Playing Games Do For You
Playing (at anything) allows you to get more creative, and promotes critical thinking, personality development and more in your childhood. Often you forget how important play is when you have so many obligations and things to do. Did you leave playing behind as adults when you pursued your career, had relationships and families? Time to get the joy back. What if play actually enhances every aspect of your life?
Playing has been shown to release endorphins which can improve brain function and creativity, helping you feel young again. Getting up to play can help you feel young and energetic, which gets your ideas flowing. It can also improve memory which is an excellent addition to every aspect of your life.
Health Benefits of Play
Aside from how play can improve various components of your life, there are many health benefits as well. Adults need time to play and recharge from the stress that comes with life. You can include playing as a form of self-care, making it a priority in your life. Taking the time to engage in play can help you reap some of these benefits.
Playing Games Relieves Stress
Committing to play as an adult can help reduce stress and bring out your inner child. Stress is a common issue that affects millions of people. Without a way to unwind, you can stay in a constant state of stress, which can have long-term health impacts. Finding a way to play throughout the week is a natural de-stressor that gives you the time to be present and let your worries fade away.
Play Encourages Physical Activity
Over 60% of U.S. adults do not get enough physical activity per week. The CDC recommends you get 150 minutes per week. The most common problem with exercise is that people say they do not enjoy the activities. This is why finding a form of physical activity you enjoy is essential. Finding activities you enjoy will help encourage you to get up and move more.
Defining moving your body as play can get you up to move more. It does not have to be an intense form of play exercise either. It could look like reliving days when you played a sport or anything that brings you joy while getting physical. Active play can increase your long-term health.
Improves Mental Health
Depression and anxiety affect many adults, which leads to searching for answers on how to manage the symptoms and feelings. Playing is a natural way to reconnect to feelings of happiness and joy. The endorphins it releases to combat the negative emotions that build up over time. If you are looking for a way to connect to the happy feelings you had as a child playing, get involved with what your children may be doing and watch how it benefits you both.
Promotes Brain Health
Keeping your brain on point allows you to live a high quality of life for a longer time. Stress and cardiovascular disease are significant factors when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. Taking on healthy lifestyle habits help reduce the risk of cognitive issues and boosts overall brain health. If you take managing your stress into your hands it can create even greater benefits in the end.
What Games Should You Play
When you imagine how kids play it may be why you think it is inappropriate. Unlike kids, you do not need to head out to the playground, although you can. There are many different ways to do activities that feel like play from when you were a child. Here are some options to try, although play can look different depending on your unique interests.
You can get involved with organized sports or get outside and try one with your kids. There is an endless variety of sports, like flag football at a community league. Sports can help you reconnect with your childhood, increase social connections, improve teamwork, and reduce stress. Meditation and yoga also help your body and brain.
Getting involved with a team sport revealed people lost weight and saw changes in their overall health. The large increase in aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Games To Play
Play does not always have to mean physical activity. So many adult games will make the kid inside you come out. You can get together with a group of friends and play board games, card games or even a group field day. There are many ways to get creative with games so everyone involved can get into the idea of playing for their health.
If you step out into nature, it can get your creative side going. So many things to do outside will spark your ideas on the play. Getting outside can increase your desire to get active over being in an indoor environment. So get out and connect with nature to enhance your well-being and elevate your playtime.
Make Time for Play
Investing time for play can help you in many ways. Try out whatever play may mean to you and see how your life changes for the better.
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life.