Saturday, 14 April 2012

Why Crossword Puzzles Help the Brain

ByMichael J McDade

It is not a well known fact that brain teasing activities help the mind stay sharp. It has been known to have a physician prescribe them as memory therapy. Studies have shown that working these types of puzzles help to stimulate the brain cells which in return can lead to a happy, healthy and long life. This leisurely activity can help keep the mind sharp and increase memory and mental processing. These puzzles have also been used to help prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia and to slow down the affects when symptoms have already appeared.

Crossword puzzles involve the brain to be active and think analytically. These puzzles force the brain to keep all of the questions to be solved and answers in the short-term memory bank. The way this works to strengthen the memory is that the answer to one question may be solved but that answer is continually being thought about while solving one of the other connecting answers. For Alzheimer's patients once symptoms have presented themselves studies have been done that support the idea of crossword puzzles improving the memory. There are documented cases where patients who have Alzheimer's start working on crossword puzzles and the memory loss and severity of symptoms is slowed.

Not only are crossword puzzles fun, stress relieving and good for the memory, they are also able to help improve vocabulary skills. These puzzles are not easy in fact; most crossword puzzles are quite difficult and will sometimes involve things such as, small bits of research, and asking questions to get the correct answer. Once that answer is learned it will be retained in long term memory. The newly learned vocabulary can then be practiced in the everyday conversations to be had. It is important to practice these news words. Without practice these words will be lost.

Another benefit of working crossword puzzles is that they can help to improve concentration. Just like the rest of the body, the brain needs exercise also. Brain exercises such as crossword puzzles can achieve keeping the brain strong and healthy. Making time to exercise the brain to improve concentration should not be difficult. In recent studies that have been completed working a crossword puzzle for fifteen minutes each day has proven that concentration improves as well as the ability to block out distractions.

No matter the age of a person the brain power can be increased by working crossword puzzles. Memory, vocabulary and concentration will all increase the more these puzzles are worked. Finding crossword puzzles is an easy task. They can be found in puzzle books which can be purchased in just about any store. They can also be found in the daily newspaper. This is where these types of puzzles originally got their start. If the computer is more the answer that is being looked for there are many free online puzzles that can be solved there on the computer screen or can be printed out to be solved.

Michael McDade is a nursing student and freelance writer. He works three different jobs and still finds time to write. He is also an SEO and blogging expert, but new to EzineArticles.

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