Old-school puzzles and games to exercise your brain

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While scrolling through news feeds and playing mobile games can be mentally stimulating, spending hours falling down a digital rabbit hole can disrupt sleep, cause headaches, eye strain and other issues. physical. Turning off your smartphone, tablet, and computer to do old-school puzzles and games is an easy compromise that cuts down on screen time and helps boost your brain. Follow these ideas to get started!

Crosswords, Sudoku and Found Words

A report from Harvard Health suggests that brain-boosting challenges like crosswords “can help hone certain thinking skills that tend to decline with age, such as processing speed, planning skills, time reaction, decision-making and short-term memory”. Likewise, doing number puzzles like Sudoku flexes memory functions, engages logical reasoning skills, and helps increase concentration.

You can buy crossword, word search, Sudoku, or variety books with hundreds of different puzzles at a newsstand, supermarket, or bookstore. Taking on new mental challenges is also good for brain health, so be sure to try several and mix up the puzzles you like with the ones you’ve never tried!

Coloring books

Coloring whether or not you stay in the lines relaxes your brain, improves brain function and is believed to induce a meditative state. It can improve concentration, reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and even improve sleep. Check out the Post’s new community pages and February coloring page. Print it out and grab your crayons or crayons, or color it online using a coloring app.

See the big picture with puzzles

Doing a puzzle engages several cognitive functions. To put the pieces back in place and reveal the final big picture, you need to recognize patterns, discern colors and shapes, use your memory, and even “rotate” the pieces in your mind to figure out where they fit and don’t. not match. The more complex an image is and the more pieces a puzzle contains, the more your brain will work to solve it. Plus, putting together a puzzle with family and friends is a fun way to connect! Doing puzzles related to your hobbies and interests — like Disney characters, fields full of colorful flowers, different breeds of dogs, or whatever you like — can make the project visually stimulating and more fun.

Photo: Getty Images

Beat boredom with board games

There’s no better way to beat the digital doldrums than to have game night with family and friends – virtual game nights matter too! Classic games like checkers, dominoes and chess involve strategic thinking to defeat your opponent. Word-related board games like Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords, and Dabble help boost memory, sharpen concentration, and promote the learning of new vocabulary. Whether you’re using deductive reasoning to guess whodunnit in Clue or trying to negotiate a real estate deal in Monopoly, the wide array of game night options can provide hours of fun social interaction while you practice multiple rounds of your brain.

Play your cards wisely

Card games like poker, bridge, pinochle, euchre, and rummy have brought players together around a table to shuffle, cut, deal, and hope for a favorable hand for decades. Games like these require strategy, math skills, reasoning, logic, decision making, and more! If you don’t feel ready for a virtual card game with others, Solitaire will forever remain a tried and tested favorite.

Overall, staying mentally fit is an essential part of a healthy and active lifestyle as you age. Each of these suggestions offers a fun way to take a break from electronic devices and give your brain the workout it needs!

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