Health effects of play: the secret to a longer, happier life

Use it or lose it.

I’m referring to the brain, of course…

More specifically, the play capabilities that allow our brain to stay sharp as we age.

Studies show that we either continually develop our mental capacities or we waste away… and one key way to keep the brain engaged is through play.

“When we stop playing, we stop developing, and when that happens, the laws of entropy take over – things fall apart,” Dr. Stuart Brown claims in his book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.

Just look at Grandma Moses! She rarely skipped a day of playful painting and lived—healthy, cheerful, and spry—until 101!

There’s proof that play can extend enjoyment of our lives in several scientific studies. In fact, people who continue to play… who continue to explore and learn new things throughout their life… are much less prone to dementia and other neurological problems. They are also less likely to get heart disease and other illnesses that have seemingly little to do with the brain.

Like I mentioned yesterday, play is a catalyst that improves all aspects of your life.

Find a way to add a little bit of fun -- a quick and enjoyable escape from reality -- to your day and you’ll discover that your capacity for problem-solving will improve, your daily chores won’t seem so mundane, your entire demeanor will brighten… you might even have a skip in your step you never knew existed.

And you’ll be far healthier in the long run.

Taking photos and experiencing the world with a camera around my neck is one of my favorite ways to play. It keeps me engaged and curious about my surroundings… And it keeps me young.

If you’re like me, and your escape is through photography, I can show you how to have even more fun with your camera here.

According to Dr. Brown, “When we stop playing, we start dying.” So let’s keep learning… keep playing… keep living.

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