If you do a web search for ‘games for seniors‘ you will mostly find things like card games, board games, crossword puzzles and Sudoku in the results. While these games are a lot of fun and certainly help to chase away boredom, they leave out the vital component of protecting your brain against aging: movement.
According to this study and many others, a ‘rapidly growing literature strongly suggests that exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, may attenuate cognitive impairment and reduce dementia risk.’ So what does that mean in plain English? It means that when you move your body, you are not only exercising your muscles, but you are also exercising your brain.
And it makes sense when you think about it. When you were a child and you were learning to ride a bike, or bounce a ball you didn’t just sit around and watch someone else do it. You got on the bike and learned what it felt like to pedal and to balance. You picked up the ball and felt how hard your hand had to make contact to bounce it at just the right height for you. If we stop learning this way, over time neural pathways can shut down. (But don’t worry! There’s a way to open them up again.)
It’s easy as a child to challenge the brain to learn new things, because everything is new and exciting. As adults, we have to get creative and step ‘outside of the box’ to challenge our brains and reopen those dusty neural pathways. But how do we do that? That’s where Ageless Grace comes in.
Games for Seniors – You can dance, swim, and do body geometry in your chair!
Ageless Grace is a fitness and wellness program, but we also like to think of it as a game for seniors as well as kids and adults of all ages – it certainly feels more like a game! The program was designed to keep both the body AND the brain healthy as we age.
So how does this work?
Here is an example:
- Put on your favorite music and sit up nice and tall in a chair.
- Make a big circle in the air with your right hand to the beat of the music. Got that? Great job!
- Now, try to draw a triangle in the air with your left foot. That’s a little more difficult!
- Finally, move your left hand in a horizontal line. Wait! What happened to your triangle?! At this point it is very common for people to get the giggles as they try to attempt all three shapes. Which is just what we want! Exercise can and should be fun.
Whatever you do, don’t stop! Try to do the movements for 30 seconds or so. It’s likely that you won’t be able to execute the movements perfectly, but that is not the point! The point of the exercise is to challenge your brain and your body to do something new. You’re exercising BOTH your body and brain and laughing at the same time!
You can also Click Here for a video example of ‘Gentle Geometry’!
Gentle Geometry is just one example of the 21 Tools in the Ageless Grace program that feel more like games for seniors than exercise.
Let’s face it, if something is fun and invigorates you, aren’t you more likely to do it a few times a week or even every day? Exercise for the brain and body can be both fun and interesting. So move your body while challenging your brain with Ageless Grace!