What is Bridge?
The Benefits of Playing Bridge
Here at Retired Brains, we love helping you find activities that add value to your life. This includes leisurely pursuits that keep you socially active and mentally sharp. In this spirit, we are going to discuss the benefits of playing bridge, in order to help you decide if bridge might be a good activity to partake in. Some of the many benefits of playing bridge include:
Now, it is no secret that playing bridge is akin to mental gymnastics. In this regard, stimulating your brain regularly is believed to be an important component in warding off diseases including Alzheimer’s and Dementia. However, boosting immunity to ward off illness was not necessarily considered to be one of the benefits of playing bridge until the early 2000’s, when Professor Marian Diamond (no pun intended!) undertook an experiment at the University of California Berkeley with 12 ladies in their 70’s and 80’s.
Professor Diamond began by taking a blood sample from each lady, and then had the group play bridge for 90 minutes. After that, she took blood samples again. She found that 8 of the 12 ladies had increased levels of T Cells in their bodies as a result of play. T Cells, of course, are used by the human body to fight infection. Professor Diamond’s hypothesis, that using the dorsolateral cortex of the brain by playing bridge can boost the immune system, was proven correct. Isn’t that neat? What is more, advances in modern technology mean you do not even need to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy the benefits of playing bridge!
Why Play Online Bridge?
Bridge is a natural game of choice for retirees, because retirement allows you to have more time on your hands to enjoy leisurely pursuits. For example, duplicate bridge typically allows for 7-8 minutes per hand, with anywhere from 22-26 hands per session. This means one session can take almost 3.5 hours to complete! Some people enjoy leaving the house to play bridge in community clubs.
If you choose to play online bridge, you can rest assured that your mental sharpness will still benefit from the strategy, deduction, concentration and visualization required. Furthermore, many online bridge sites have a ‘chat’ function, which means you are able to communicate with your partner and other players in live-time. This allows you to experience meaningful social interactions, and even make some new friends in the process. Another benefit, should you choose to play online bridge, is that many platforms are open for play 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So unlike a community hall with set hours of play, if you choose to play online bridge, you can do so whenever you wish!
Playing Online with the Funbridge Download
Retired Brains has found a fun, interactive and easy-to-use online bridge platform called Funbridge. Funbridge is an established bridge site that connects bridge players from all over the world. Funbridge has individual games, as well as many different kinds of tournaments you can participate in.
To use Funbridge, you need to sign up for an account and download their free, easy-to-use application program for your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device. Once you sign up, you will automatically receive 100 free ‘deals’. You can use these free deals to help you decide if playing online bridge is the right fit for you. If you decide that it indeed is, you can purchase monthly packages, including unlimited play. Please visit the Funbridge website to learn more, and to see if their platform is right for you.
No matter what leisurely pursuits you choose to partake in, we hope this article helps you find stimulating, meaningful activities that are right for you...and that add tremendous value to your retirement years!
*The purpose of this article is to provide helpful information that allows you to make an informed decision as to whether or not playing online bridge is right for you. As with any online or in-person gaming platform, you should always do your research to make sure you understand the terms, conditions, costs and any other stipulations associated with membership. If you have any questions about the Funbridge platform specifically, we recommend contacting them directly.
Image Credit: The image of British nobility playing bridge is used with the permission of Creative Commons licensing, and is courtesy of the MCAD Library. The image was originally created by Charles Dana Gibson in 1903 for Collier’s Weekly.
Worry not! You don’t have to be reading War and Peace every day to get your brain the exercise it needs to stay sharp. Try these 10 fun activities and hobbies instead:
How will you embrace the freedom of retirement? Start with finding fun, engaging hobbies that vitalize your brain and help you stay active!