Sunday, May 15, 2022

Are Crossword Puzzles Good For The Brain

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They Can Strengthen Social Bonds

UCLAs memory expert reveals the truth about brain-training apps, crossword puzzles, and sudoku

Completing a crossword puzzle on your own is impressive, but you should never feel bad if you need to ask for help. In fact, collaborating on a crossword puzzle is a great way to strengthen your relationships and make new friends. Plus, because crossword puzzles call on a wide variety of knowledge, people of many different ages and backgrounds can help with them. So the next time youre struggling with a clue, dont be afraid to ask the person next to you for help.

If I Skip The Booze Do I Save Brain Cells

As SharpBrains notes, its clearly known that excessive drinking causes brain damage. While there is no consensus on what low to moderate consumption means for your brains health, one review of multiple studies found that men and women who drank some had a lower risk of Alzheimers compared to non-drinkers. Experts think it may be due to alcohols role in cardiovascular health, which is boosting good HDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of blood clots.

Improve your memory: Experts probably would not recommend starting a drinking habit, but light drinking is likely protectingor at least not harmingyour mental muscle. Heres what happens when you drink a glass of wine every night.

Puzzles Are Great For Improving Concentration And Also Help Boost Your Mental Ability

Those little bursts of joy at finishing a puzzle can help calm your mind, in much the same way that physical exercise can mentally relax you too.

Everyone needs to take a break sometimes, but it can be really hard to put aside the distractions of life. Even when you try to clear your mind, all the everyday pressures and worries cant help but creep back and disturb your peace.

It would really help if you could find some activity which is both simultaneously relaxing and also great at helping you avoid distractions, but with a bit more mental benefit than just slumping in front of a TV. Luckily, just such an activity exists: puzzle solving.

Its no surprise that puzzles in all forms, from newspaper crosswords through to dedicated puzzle books, are permanently popular. Since ancient times weve liked to set ourselves riddles and challenges, but theres never been such a wide range of fun and accessible puzzles as we now have. Many of them, such as sudoku, dont require any knowledge at all, so are true levellers anyone can tackle them, no matter their age or experience. And, while youre focused on solving a puzzle, youre far less likely to be distracted by other concerns so you get a chance to have the break you need.

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Crosswords Delay Memory Loss And Help Alleviate Dementia

When most people ask if crosswords are good for brain health, theyre most likely wondering if crosswords help strengthen memory. As this study found, solving crossword puzzles later in life delayed memory decline by 2.5 years in those who had developed dementia. Previous education of the participants was not a factor in the results.

In similar studies, researchers found that these benefits help those who are already at risk for Alzheimers or dementia the most. In other words, if youre at risk for Alzheimers or dementia, you may benefit from regularly enjoying crossword puzzles.

They Offer A Fun Way To Overcome Boredom

Brainteasing Puzzles for National Puzzle Day 2020

If you are lonely, depressed, anxious, or bored, just open your newspaper and solve a crossword puzzle. This will help you to relax, keep your mind engaged, and just have fun! If you are not a puzzle person, you dont have to be. Just give crossword puzzles a try and youll be hooked in no time!

    If you make your own coffee in the morning, chances are youre only making the same boring kind everyday. Now its time to put an end to the cynical habit and turn you into an instant coffee connoisseur.

    For those who dont know, there are officially 38 different ways to make coffee. All, except decaffeinated versions will give you the same buzz that can either make you extremely productive or give you anxiety.

    The only difference here is taste. And when it comes to coffee, taste matters. A lot.

    Most of the methods and ingredients from the chart above dates back hundreds of years and have been traditionally passed down from generation to generation. Hence, its actually possible to tell where a person came from based on the type of coffee he or she drinks!

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    The Stimulating Benefits Of Working With Crosswords

    Alls not lost though

    While the research results in this area are mixed, some studies have found doing crosswords can actually stimulate the brain.

    Crossword puzzles have been proven to stimulate the brain. But that does not mean completing them improves it.

    A study of 488 elderly people by researchers at Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego found that solving crossword puzzles delayed the onset of accelerated memory decline by 2.54 years.

    It was not all good news, however. Check this out:

    Once mental decline sets in, the deterioration is usually rapid. However, some findings suggest that word puzzles did help delay the onset of dementia.

    For example, researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School and Kings College London analysed data from more than 17,000 healthy people aged 50 and over. They found that the more regularly people did crosswords, the better their brain functioned in later life.

    According to their results, people who engage in word puzzles have brain function equivalent to ten years younger than their age, on tests of grammatical reasoning speed and short term memory accuracy.

    There Are Physical And Mental Health Benefits Of Doing Crossword Puzzles Especially For Older Adults

    Whether youre a crosswords aficionado or just learning the ways of the game, we have good news for you. There are many benefits of crossword puzzles, including improving ones mood, memory and mental health.

    Better yet, you dont have to complete a puzzle every day though theres also nothing holding you back from doing so. Regularly working on crosswords even just once a week, can positively impact your health in several ways.

    Here are six good reasons why you should start or continue doing crossword puzzles.

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    Improve Your Brain With Daily Crossword

    Crosswords have been one of the most popular puzzle games of all time, and newspapers have had their fair share of credit in making crossword puzzle games the staple of peoples mornings for more than a century, a few years here and there. Generations of a family must have played the game during some time of their lives, ask your parents about it and ask your grandparents about it! Even today, there are several households that have made crossword puzzles a ritual for every morning, fresh brain teasers ready with their freshly brewed coffee.

    We call it a game but it is more than that, and we know that by years of research. Crosswords are a great way to stimulate your mind, rather the best workout for your brain that gives you endless benefits for the long term. I know, in this generation of PUBG Mobile and Fortnite, Crossword puzzle games must seem boring but its actually not! These games are one of the most entertaining, especially when you play them with your family and friends, a typical good old-fashioned game that gives you laughs, keeps you entertained, and is one of the best mental exercises.

    Crosswords For Brain Health: Yes Or No

    What Do Puzzles do to Your Brain? A Neurology Expert Explains

    If youre hoping to use crossword puzzles to delay the onset or progression of cognitive decline, you may not get the results youre looking for. Doctors and scientists have not yet found definitive proof that they can do this.

    However, if youre looking to benefit your brain in other ways, crosswords are a great way to help you on a short-term, daily basis. Just because they cant solve complex medical issues doesnt mean that there arent other benefits.

    You can even play them with kids, turning them into quality time well-spent, and helping them to ace that next spelling bee.

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    Other Forms Of Brain Training

    If youre looking to promote brain health and train your brain in different ways, youve come to the right place. Weve compiled a variety of brain training activities for everyone. Some good ones to check out include mobile apps so you can train your brain on-the-go, and other daily exercises to keep your mind healthy.

    Solving Puzzles Produce An Extra Dose Of Dopamine

    Have you ever solved an online crossword puzzle or on the newspaper that you never thought you could? Do you remember the extreme sense of satisfaction and accomplishment you felt when you finally solved the entire crossword?

    It was the dopamine being released into your brain that causes such an intense feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, and happiness. You do not have to solve extremely difficult and complicated puzzles or make a huge breakthrough, even a simple puzzle can boost the dopamine production in your brain.

    The release of dopamine in your brain not only improves your motor skills but also elevates your concentration power. It makes you feel more confident, optimistic, and capable of greater things.

    It is the reason why after solving one puzzle, we have an intense need to solve a more difficult and challenging one. Such a simple task or solving crossword puzzles daily avail such serious and intense benefits.

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    Scientific Studies Provide Conflicting Information

    You may think that something as simple as a crossword puzzle doesnt warrant much scientific research. However, the medical community has been on the hunt for prevention methods and potential reversal techniques to age-related cognitive decline for decades.

    Many current chronic brain diseases that affect mental capacity are not curable as of yet. Doctors are digging as deep as they can to provide solutions for families and patients. Many studies have been conducted to see if crossword puzzles can help prevent or delay Alzheimers and dementia. They have shown conflicting results.

    Brain Fact: Crosswords Are Fun And May Improve Your Ability To Find Words But They Dont Help Your Brains Overall Cognition Or Memory

    Crossword Puzzle Games: Good Times! Easy Puzzles &  Brain ...

    A lot of people do crossword puzzles each day with the belief that this activity will help keep the brain young and even keep Alzheimers or dementia at bay. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for this belief. Crossword puzzles flex one very specific piece of cognitionthe ability to find words, which is also known as fluency. Fluency is a type of process based in the speech and language centers of the brain. So doing crosswords might help you get better at word finding, but thats the sum total of their positive benefits to your brain.

    A recent study that pitted brain crossword puzzles against Posit Sciences brain training activities found that that BrainHQ training improved cognitive function while crosswords seemed to have no positive effects.

    Dr. Michael Merzenich suggests that there is one way to make your daily crossword puzzle boost the brain a bit more: make it challenging enough to push your brain to the next level. One idea is to give yourself a time limit and see how fast you can do it. Or, try a puzzle thats harder than your normal puzzle skill level. Dr. Merzenich also notes that doing a daily crossword is a good way to see if your memory is holding up: if the crossword you do each day starts to seem more and more difficult to you, perhaps its time to get your memory checked or start doing BrainHQ to keep it sharp.

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    Keeping Your Brain Active: 10 Tips For Improving Your Brain

    The other day I was listening to an interview on National Public Radio with Dean Oshler who has just written a book called From Square One: A Meditation, with Digressions, on Crosswords. During the interview I was surprised to hear Mr. Oshler challenge the widely held belief that regularly doing crossword puzzles is good for your brain fitness and can help stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Oshler’s problem with crossword solving is twofold: first, he believes the clinical data showing an advantage for puzzlers is both weak and only observational second, we need variety in our mental exercise

    I don’t think Oshler and Wilson are that far apart actually. Oshler is just emphasizing variety in mental exercise. He went on to say that perhaps one should take up something like crosswords for a year or so and then do something completely different like learning a foreign language. His concern is to avoid falling into a mental rut always doing the same type of crossword puzzles edited by the same person, over and over again. New and varied mental challenges are key in his opinion.

    “1. Take up video-gaming. Action video games improve eye-hand coordination, improve spatial visualization skills, and increase the number of things that you can visually attend to simultaneously.

    2. Strengthen your memory. Memory is our most vital mental faculty. Strengthening memory is an important component in lessening the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

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    You Improve Your Problem Solving Ability By Doing Jigsaw Puzzles:

    Why are jigsaw puzzles good for your brain? We have mentioned many things regarding this. However, one more important thing that must not be ignored is that by solving jigsaw puzzles, you improve your ability of problem solving.

    For solving the puzzles you take several approaches to try for solving a problem, as this is a trial and error test. The value of formulating theories, testing hypothesis, as well as changing your perspectives while something does not go well as per your plans, can be learned from solving jigsaw puzzles. These skills can help you become more innovative in problem-solving, and critical thinking.

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    Benefits Of Crossword Puzzles

    By The Shores of Lake Phalen

    You might think of a crossword puzzle as a fun way to pass the time on a lazy Sunday. Theyre inexpensive , require only a pen and your brain, and can be played wherever you happen to be. You might be surprised, however, to learn that researchers have discovered that regularly solving crossword puzzles can improve your life in a variety of ways. So play away! And if anyone tells you not to spend so much time playing games, let them know about the benefits of crossword puzzles.

    They Help You Deal With Your Problems In Life

    Good Cheap Brain Food: How to Solve a Keyword Puzzle

    Crossword puzzles are never quite easy to solve, despite playing the easiest level available. You have to rack your brain in order to solve one. This racking of your brain can actually help you to deal with your regular troubles in life and help you to solve problems, since you are practicing thinking clearly. If you can understand the pattern of a puzzle, you can easily understand the patterns of life!

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    Great Brain Exercises To Try

    Each brain exercise targets a different part of your cognition, says Dr. Tan, making the analogy to different kinds of exercise. If I run on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day, I wont necessarily improve my core like I would from doing pilates. To be physically fit, I have to do a couple of different kinds of exercise. The same is true for brain exercises.

    Crossword Puzzles May Help Keep The Brain Young

    Doing crossword puzzles regularly may help to keep the brain up to 10 years younger late in life. And the more frequently you engage in crossword puzzles or other word games, the better your brain function may be.

    Those are the findings of a study from researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School and Kings College London in Britain. They add to a growing body of evidence that mentally challenging activities may help to keep the mind sharp as we age.

    For the study, the researchers surveyed more than 17,000 healthy men and women aged 50 and older who were part of a large and ongoing research initiative. They filled out questionnaires about how often they played word games such as crossword puzzles.

    Participants were also given a research test to assess various aspects of memory and thinking skills. The investigators found that the more regularly participants engaged with word puzzles throughout life, the better they performed on tasks assessing attention, reasoning and memory.

    From their results, the researchers calculated that people who regularly engaged in word puzzles have brain function equivalent to up to 10 years younger than their age.

    The study found only an association between regular word puzzle use and better brain function. It cannot prove cause and effect. But the findings further suggest that mental stimulation can be good for the brain.

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    Are Crosswords Good For The Brain

    Crossword puzzles are good for your brain because they help improve your memory and reasoning skills. The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times puzzles are staples when people envision the icon of daily crossword puzzling.

    A joint 2017 study by King’s College London and the University of Exeter Medical School suggests people who play crossword puzzles are more likely to have a sharper brain in later life.

    The researchers stated that their findings reveal a link between word puzzles, like crosswords, and memory and thinking skills, but we cant say definitively that regular puzzling improves these skills.

    A Workout For Your Mind

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    Brain games stimulate different cognitive functions, such as executive function and processing speed, in older adults. And they can enhance your life in other ways. They can help your social life, particularly in group trainings that provide socialization that otherwise you wont have, says Dr. Tan. Similar to exercising in a workout class with a friend, the experience itself is enhanced by being with other people.

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