It’s important to remember that your brain is like a muscle. It should be stretched and exercised regularly. If you don’t do this, then you could start to see signs of cognitive decline, particularly as you get older.
Cognitive issues in old age are also becoming more common. For instance, the total number of people who suffer from dementia is expected to reach 82 million by 2030 and 150 million by 2050.
This is likely connected to a rapidly growing aging population. While there is no cure for conditions like dementia that impact brain functions, researchers do believe there are steps you can take to decrease the chances of developing a condition like this or slow down the progression.
One of the options researchers recommend is playing puzzles like crosswords, sudoku, and fill-in puzzles to keep your brain active. By keeping the brain active and thinking you can ensure that you don’t end up in a situation where you start to notice changes to your cognitive ability, even while you are still young.
Why Do Puzzles Benefit The Brain?
There are numerous reasons why puzzles like crosswords and fill-in-the-blank teasers can benefit the brain. For instance, puzzles like this will provide exercise to the left and the right sides of your brain at the same time.
Right or Left Brain?
The left side of your brain is based primarily on logical decisions and works on linear actions. The right side of the brain is more intuitive and you need to ensure that both are active. According to Sanesco Health, puzzles and problem-solving possibilities are some of the best ways to give both sides of your brain the right type of mental workout that they need.
Puzzles can also help improve your memory. When you are completing a puzzle, you will need to retrieve information that you may have picked up in the past. This is giving your short-term and long-term memory the right focus. That’s important because a lot of the health issues that you develop in later years of life will impact your memory.
Have Less Stress
Puzzles can also provide a way to relieve issues with stress. Various studies have shown that stress can trigger issues with cognitive decline. Indeed, one study in 2017 found that dealing with stressful situations repeatedly had a significant cognitive cost.
Studies also suggest that people who complete puzzles have longer life spans with a reduced chance of developing Alzheimer’s or similar medical conditions. It helps to keep plaque levels connected to the development of dementia in the brain low according to a study by the Archives of Neurology. 75-year-olds who regularly used puzzles had brain scans that were comparable to 25-year olds.
It’s clear then that you do gain significant benefits from playing puzzles in your spare time. You just need to find the right type of puzzle that you’ll enjoy. The good news is that there are a variety of different ones to choose from maths puzzles to ones that test your spelling. So, why not get puzzling today?