Playing chess is fun, challenging—and healthy! Yes, that’s right: chess actually has health benefits that can help you in both mental and physical ways. So the next time you take out your wooden chess set to play with friends or practice for a tournament, think about all the many chess benefits that you are gifting yourself simply by partaking in one of your favorite pastimes.
Chess helps promote brain growth
Chess actually promotes the development of your brain, which shouldn’t be surprising when you consider all of the mental faculties you must use when you play a game of chess. Your brain growth is encouraged every time you play chess, and this only increases when you engage in long form chess play in tournaments or longer matches.
Chess helps reduce chances for Alzheimer’s
Research has shown that people who play chess have a reduced chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease when they are older, particularly if they continue to play chess as they age. The reason for this is believed to be that because chess exercises certain areas of the brain during play, it reduces the chances for these areas of the brain to develop the conditions which may cause Alzheimer’s.
Chess exercises both sides of the brain
Chess exercises both your left and right sides of your brain, which is a rare feat for a single activity! Using both sides of your brain not only helps your brain development but helps you develop critical skills while these sides of your brain are activated.
Chess develops your problem solving skills
Chess definitely requires you to engage in problem solving skills, and the more you play, the more your problem solving skills will develop and strength. Problem solving skills are essential in your everyday life; they can benefit you in school, in your work, and even in regular social situations. People who have better problem solving skills are more likely to be successful as well.
Chess improves your ability to recover from strokes and similar disabilities
Research has shown that playing chess improves a person’s ability to recover after they have suffered a stroke or similar disabilities. Playing chess helps improve fine motor skills in a gradual and calculated way, which is essential for people recovering from these conditions.
Chess helps improve your memory development
Chess has been shown to help improve your memory and strengthen your memory development. Both of these facets will help you in your everyday life, school and even work. A stronger memory development may also help you avoid certain conditions as you age.
Chess increase your IQ
Finally, and this is a big one: chess may help to increase your IQ! Playing chess regularly has been shown to help both adults and children increase their overall IQ, which is no easy feat.
If you are a regular chess player, you can rest easy knowing that you are on the receiving end of a host of mental and physical health benefits that can genuinely change your life and keep you healthy as you age.