Healthy Heart Healthy Brain
Grill pointed out the importance of a healthy heart.
Some suggests that reducing cardiac risk factors in the middle adult years is just as, or even more important than, the types of genes you carry for risk of developing amyloid plaques later in life.
Many of us believe that theres no more significant risk factor for getting Alzheimers than the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain, said Grill.
So, he continued, if youre in your 40s and 50s and you smoke and you dont exercise and your diet isnt the healthiest in the world, changing two of the three of those could be more impactful than changing your genes, if you were able, to the risk for developing amyloid plaques later in life.
Word Puzzles Help Develop Pattern Recognition
Lets talk about pattern recognition and the role it plays in our lives. Have you ever been able to skim over a sentence and know what it says without having to read each and every word? Thats because your brain has become quite skilled at pattern recognition in words. If you are new to reading and spelling, skim reading is extremely difficult. Now you probably have a slightly better understanding of the role of pattern recognition in our lives. Its actually useful in various areas of our lives, not just spelling.
The reality is that they have everything to do with words. Words are spelled in particular ways because they form patterns. Certain letters always follow on from others, certain sounds require a series of letters to be used in a particular sequence, and so on.
Think about it. When you see the letter Q, what do you expect to see next? The letter U is expected next and you only know that because your brain has seen it enough time and has now recognized the pattern. It is much the same with the letter T most often, it is followed by the letter E or the letter H. This also leads the brain towards better fluency.
Were All Getting Older
Doing word search and other puzzles can help to keep our aging brains fit. A study published in the March-April 2001 issue of the American Journal of Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias found that a simple cognitive activity like bingo can benefit older adults. Bot the AARP and the Alzheimers Association suggest that puzzles can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
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Brain Fact: Crosswords Are Fun And May Improve Your Ability To Find Words But They Dont Help Your Brains Overall Cognition Or Memory
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.
It Teaches Patience And Persistence
Being highly concentrated is not the only requirement to be able to win a Word Search game. Players also need to be persistent and patient to sift through the grid in search of the wanted word. Normally, even easy puzzles contain a tricky term that is harder to find. Frustration takes a toll on concentration and finding the missing word will become harder. However, in the end, the feeling of accomplishment will eclipse this frustration. Since the players want to keep experiencing that sense of accomplishment, this will lead them to train their patience and persistence in order to keep frustration at bay and achieve their reward faster.
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Reasons Doing Word Searches Is Really Good For You
It turns out theres more to doing word searches than just scoring bragging rights when youre able to find the words in record time. Apart from the fact that word searches are a portable and inexpensive way to have fun and keep busy, it also has awesome health benefits. Read on!
Relax, take it easy
We all know how hard it is to juggle work and play but taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to destress with a good puzzle or word search allows you to unwind while stimulating brain development.
Improve the mood youre in
Because whats better than finding a tricky word in a sea of letters, beating your personal record or encouraging some healthy competition with a friend or loved one? Sitting down to tackle a word search and that feeling that comes with successfully finding a word has a seriously good effect on your mood. It stimulates the brains reward molecule, making you feel motivated and happy. Who doesnt want a quick win while dealing with the challenges of everyday life? Score!
Dementia for who?
Keep your brain active to boost your memory and brain development. Experts say this can help you prevent and delay the onset of neurological disorders such as dementia and Alzheimers disease. Bring on the brain food and brain-teasers!
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They Improve Visual And Spatial Reasoning
You need to be able to look at individual parts of a jigsaw puzzle, or available spaces in a crossword puzzle and figure out how to fit the pieces or words into their space. If done regularly, according to USA Today, this will improve your visual and spatial reasoning skills and that translates into being a better driver and can make you a Tetris-like packer .
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Substantial Benefits Of Word Search Puzzles For Seniors
When I was a kid, I used to sit with my grandma in the afternoons after school and try to complete a word search. My grandma would give me different colored pencils to use, and every day there seemed to be a new word search puzzle to work on. She would sit with me in companionable silence, completing one herself. I believe it was the very reason I have taken to words so much. I love word puzzles, I love to read, and I love to write.
What I have never really given much thought to, is how much those word search puzzles were adding to my grandmas quality of life at the time.
Seniors are often looking for ways to keep their minds active and young. Just like any other part of the body, if it is neglected, it will become weak and tire easily. One of the biggest benefits of doing word searches and other puzzles is to keep the mind young. Of course, there are a whole host of other benefits, some of which are listed below for your perusal.
15 ways seniors can benefit from doing Word Search Puzzles.
Should I Take Supplements Touted To Support Brain Health
A 2010 report from the National Institutes of Health, which examined the results of multiple studies, found high levels of evidence that the herb Ginkgo biloba is not associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimers disease. Other studies have found no reduction in cognitive decline from purported memory-enhancing vitamins and antioxidants such as B12, E, C, and beta-carotene.
Improve your memory: Your overall eating pattern, rather than popping specific supplements, appears to play an important role in how well your brain ages. Several studies have found the Mediterranean dietrich in olive oil, fish, vegetables, and fruits moderate in alcohol consumption and low in saturated fats from meat and dairyto be linked to a reduced risk of dementia . One important study from 2009 even found that healthy people who followed this way of eating for five years lowered their risk of developing an early form of dementia, and those who already had an early form of dementia helped lower the chances of their condition progressing. You may want to add these brain-boosting foods that can improve memory to your diet, too.
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It Is Therapeutic And Relaxing
The benefits of playing Word Search go beyond practicing skills and also reach your own mental health.
To begin with, by forcing the brain to fully focus on this activity, it prevents the mind from focusing on problems or negative ideas. In turn, this helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress and can even help make problems seem less difficult after a challenge.
In addition, these puzzles can bring a feeling of happiness and motivate players in their daily lives. Since solving them requires effort and perseverance, each victory works as a reward that reinforces the feeling of accomplishment. This combination allows players to feel more optimistic and motivated not only during the game, but also in their life in general.
What Does Science Say
The topic has been thoroughly researched to study the impact of crossword puzzles on our brain functions. A renowned researcher Ann Lukits wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the benefits of solving puzzles regularly.
Her words were, Puzzles boost verbal skills as well as cut dementia risks. After a series of researches and experimentations, she determined that puzzles can improve memory and brain functions, even in older adults. A simple game of crossword every day can improve mental functions in patients with brain damage or early dementia.
British researchers started another study on similar terms. They wanted to determine the results of crosswords on people with the age of fifty and above. Researcher Keith Wesnes, who is a renowned professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Exeter in England, studied the impact of crosswords on the attention, reasoning, and memory test.
They found a direct relationship between the entire process of solving the puzzle, the speed, the accuracy and a varying range of functions including attention, memory, and reasoning. People who played crosswords regularly had much better and consistently improving performances compared to others.
The tests also proved that playing daily crossword puzzles can reduce the mental age and improve the virality of a person by almost ten years.
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It Is An Opportunity To Strengthen The Bonds Between Adults And Children
This is a classic casual game that can be played by people of all ages. Even children who only now learn letters and know their first words can have fun with this game.
Word Search is therefore a good activity to reinforce the bonds that bind children and adults. A puzzle can become a healthy competition to see who solves it first or a team game in which adults and children team up to achieve victory.
Playing with adults is also an asset for the little ones since they have someone next to them who can explain the meaning of the words that they still do not know.
The benefits of playing Word Search only add to the fun and attractive potential of this game. On paper or online, these puzzles help pass the time and enhance everyones personal skills, all at the same time.
Performing self-defined and other hobbies is a rewarding and beneficial activity throughout our lives. However, it is true that at an age it is especially interesting not to abandon the habit of doing this type of mental gymnastics.
Despite the fact that new technologies are great competitors of our beloved paper hobbies, to this day they have not yet managed to eat too much ground, since the simplicity and immediacy of doing a crossword on the daily newspaper sheet continue to be wonderful and irreplaceable.
Youll Gain Human Connection
Humans are social creatures and connecting with others is crucial to your wellbeing. While doing word searches might seem like a solo activity, it can actually help you form stronger connections.
Word searches are great to do with friends or family groups as a way to bond. You can challenge each other to matches and in the process, youll experience the necessary human connection youve been craving. Group word searches can improve your ability to work with others and can make you more sociable in general.
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Keep Your Mind Sharp With These Brain Games
It’s never too early or too late to focus on brain health. Cognitive decline is part of life for many seniors, especially those over 80, but there are ways to mitigate it, even if you’re already experiencing problems with recall or visualization. Here are a few brain games and activities you can use to improve your brain health:
Word Search Puzzles Are Fun Which Is Good For The Brain
In order for the brain to learn and pick up on new things, there needs to be an element of interest and fun. It is easy to overlook just how important it is for the brain to relax, unwind, and have fun. If you lead an extremely stressful and busy life, you may overlook the importance of this.
The best way to keep a healthy and happy mindset is to ensure that your brain receives a workout, yes, but also to ensure that you have time to rest, repair, unwind and have fun.
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Why Do I Like Puzzles So Much
But psychology is aware of even more reasons why doing puzzles has such fascination for so many people: We humans feel stressed if we have a task that we dont succeed at and are bored if we are competent at something but have no task, explains Dr Lermer. By doing puzzles, we achieve the perfect balance.
Word Searches Help Develop Enhanced Visual And Spatial Insight
In order to be in sync with our surroundings, we need visual and spatial insight. That is the understanding and the ability to see with the minds eye, the amount of space around us and how we interact with it. As we age, we lose this keen ability. Doing puzzles can help to develop and enhances these particular skills.
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You Get To Learn New Words Every Day
Famous philosophers have said that we never really stop learning, we constantly learn something new until the day we die. And what can be better than learning new words every day! Crossword puzzle creators use complicated, rare, and unused words with the sole purpose of leaving you puzzled.
There are several occasions when people have to check word meanings in the dictionary because they are extremely trying and complex. Solving them allows you to get exposed to such words that you would not have experienced otherwise.
Apart from increasing your memory power and boosting your creativity, you also get to enhance your vocabulary, which is a crucial skill that everyone needs in their life.
If you solve a crossword puzzle daily, you get the opportunity to learn one or more new words every day. This enhanced vocabulary can help you grow and develop your professional life and reach your end goal much faster.
It Helps To Develop Problem
As previously noted, while playing a Word Search game the brain needs to handle several tasks at once and evaluate the best course of action to achieve victory. In practice, the players are training their problem-solving skills. They have a problem and they must evaluate and define the best strategy to solve it efficiently and quickly.
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The Real Value Of The Crossword Puzzle
Crossword puzzles do have a value but these ultimately amount to being little more than recreational in nature.
At the most, if you can solve a puzzle, you know your brain is still pretty much intact. But whether your brain is getting stronger and sharper, the more puzzles you solve, is a matter of opinion.
The undebatable fact remains that using Memory Palaces the Magnetic Memory Method way can help you see some real improvement in your brains problem solving faculties.
It not only stimulates your brain, it also helps move information into long term memory faster and with predictable and reliable permanence.
So, lets get started playing the games that truly help.
Are you in?
Cognitive Games For Seniors Can Make All The Difference
They may not sound like much, but fun brain games like these can really improve a seniors cognitive function. Try them out with your loved one and see what they like best. Everyone has different preferences. Perhaps its trivia games or board games or even video games. Whatever it is, encouraging the use of brain games for your senior is sure to benefit them.
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When Did We First Get Hooked On Crosswords: A Fascinating History
The crossword a standard feature in newspapers across the globe celebrated its hundredth birthday on December 21, 2013.
And its still going strong!
However, when journalist Arthur Wynne invented and printed the first ever word-cross puzzle in the New York World newspaper on December 21, 1913, it was hardly met with much fanfare.
An editorial in The New York Times published on November 17, 1924 called crossword puzzles a primitive sort of mental exercise and a sinful waste of time.
The craze of word puzzles spread after publishing firm of Simon & Schuster launched its career in 1924 with a book of puzzles. This was the same year when the World published its first daily crossword puzzle.
Arthur Wynne, creator of the first crossword puzzle
Years later, the puzzles success surprised Wynne:
all I did was take an old idea as old as language and modernize it by the introduction of black squares, he said in 1925. Im glad to have had a hand in it, and no one is more surprised at its amazing popularity .
Wynne was inspired by ancient word squares where words read the same across and down.
Wynne also took inspiration from another puzzle, the acrostic in which sets of letters taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet.
Ultimately, the current format with its compact square diagram of white spaces and black bars, with connected across and down words, and numbered clues became popular.