What is a fun way for retired people to stay active?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
There's a craze that's sweeping retirement communities all over North America: exer-games! Interactive video games (think Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect Sports) are extremely popular.

Interactive video bowling leagues in retirement communities are huge. There are tournaments and even intercommunity rivalries. Many communities have get-up-and-move programs for everything from yoga to golf, skiing, soccer and even curling.

Older folks who get active with these games reap many physical, mental and social benefits. As you advance in age, video games can help stimulate your brain, preventing cognitive decline, and memory and muscle (yes, muscle) loss—especially if the games challenge you to think about and do new things. With the added element of physical exercise, interactive video games can help prevent or delay the onset of dementia while improving overall brain and muscle function.

It's no wonder the National Science Foundation is putting $1.2 million into a four-year study to investigate if and how video games slow cognitive decline. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also pledged $8.5 million to study the impact of video games on everything from Alzheimer's disease to driving skills.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.