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Puzzles: A Fun Way to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Puzzles, in one form or another, have always been part of my family’s recreation. I recall large tables permanently set up to hold very large jigsaw puzzles. That wasn’t just because there was nothing good on television!
5-1 Puzzles
Keep your mind sharp while having fun with puzzles. Credit mehe-337599/

Puzzles are a lot of fun, relaxing and very good for the brain.

Solving puzzles is a great way to keep the mind active. If you worry that you keep forgetting things, or are always losing your keys, or even if you need a way to relax, puzzles are excellent for this in all forms. Look at the enduring popularity of sudoku, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and  the recent and ongoing craze of the NY Times Wordle of the day.

They help with relaxation

Puzzles are relaxing, and enjoyable too. This means that doing puzzles can be a way of unwinding, because they lower stress and let the mind focus on just the one task. Lowered stress improves sleep, which leads to better stress coping skills. Since puzzles are so much fun, successfully solving one can also put you in a much better mood. They increase the dopamine in the brain which improves mood, memory and concentration.

They are good exercise for the whole self

Puzzles are very good for the brain. They exercise both hemispheres of the brain at the same time. The left hemisphere controls the logic and analytical skills and the right side controls creativity. So, working on a puzzle is an excellent mental workout.

They improve visual and spatial reasoning

The ability to be able to look at the individual parts of a jigsaw, or a puzzle on paper and imagine it as it would look when completed is a talent, and a skill that can be worked. Seeing something in pieces and visualizing it as a whole is mental agility that can make things easier in a lot of aspects of what people are called upon to do throughout the day.

Puzzle-solving is a skill to share with the family

Looking for a calming activity to do with the grandkids? Maybe you want a skill to share and teach. Puzzles are something to do together, and fun for everyone in the family. Families are more cohesive and functional when they work together to solve problems, says the Jigsaw Puzzle Guru. Try different kinds of activities, games, brain teasers and puzzles if one kind doesn’t spark the imagination. Here’s a great list, and don’t forget about online jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles and games too.

So, put that puzzle board out and let it be there as a way to build connections and engage guests when they visit. Your brain will thank you!

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Airdrie Denture Centre for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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