Playing cards have long been known as a fun and entertaining pastime, but did you know that they also have some surprising cognitive benefits? Games like bridge and poker are perfect for keeping your mind sharp and preventing things like Alzheimer’s disease. People who spend at least 3 hours per week playing card games enjoy mental benefits that go beyond fun and relaxation. Playing card games can improve your memory, creativity, spatial skills, problem-solving abilities, and more. Here are five surprising benefits of playing cards for your cognitive function:
Promote Emotional and Mental Health
Card games are an age-old activity for people of all ages and can improve physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, some studies have shown that playing cards games on a regular basis can reduce stress levels and promote emotional well-being. Other studies suggest that regular card gameplay can boost memory, increase overall cognitive function (like spatial intelligence), and help people in their golden years deal with dementia.
Enhance Mental Agility
Many people spend their free time learning new languages, studying a different culture, or practicing art. If you’re looking to keep your mind sharp, pick up some card games. While you may think that many benefits come from physical activity, research suggests that playing card games might be more effective than hitting the gym! How is that possible? Playing card games may help increase blood flow in key brain regions and is particularly beneficial to patients who have Alzheimer’s disease and other types of memory loss associated with aging. This makes it an ideal activity for learning how to think strategically, use your working memory and make smart decisions under pressure.
Have you ever dealt a hand of solitaire and then found yourself obsessing over each possible move? Playing cards is a very common stress-reliever, but how does it work exactly? Well, as it turns out, even if you’re not winning, you’re still building up an immunity to stress because gaming takes your mind off other things and gives you a specific goal to focus on. The rules are straightforward and simple, so it doesn’t take much thought or concentration to follow along—something that can actually cause stress in itself when we’re overloaded. Gaming offers a perfect balance between something that is challenging but won’t give us anxiety if we make mistakes or lose track of time.
Boost the Immune System
Everyone knows that physical exercise boosts our immune system, but did you know that mentally stimulating activities like board games can do just as much good? Card-playing has been shown to strengthen neuron connections in our brains, leading to faster reaction times, better attention span, and higher intelligence.
When you play memory games or any other kind of matching game, it helps create pathways in your brain that make it easier to recall particular types of information. Memory training can help slow down and prevent memory loss as you age. Practicing card games is also beneficial for keeping your mind sharp, making sure that you can pick up new skills easily and retain them over time.
People who play card games regularly tend to have improved working memory, increased self-control, and greater creativity. Those benefits are so tangible that they’re practically absolute—especially compared with other brain training activities like computerized exercises and crossword puzzles. You get more out of playing cards than most other leisurely pursuits because it combines a whole slew of brain functions into one single activity. You aren’t just improving your ability to remember past events or evaluate possible future ones; you’re being forced to decide when and how much to bet, when to hold them, and when to fold them.