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Maintaining Healthy Brain Function Can Be A Puzzle

By Tom Herrin

What do you do with your time when you are resting?  Watching television is a pretty common practice.  Another is playing on an electronic device.  Both have their place, but there are other ways to keep your mind sharp.  How long has it been since you worked a jigsaw puzzle?  For many people, it has been quite a while.  They may only do so when a child asks for help with one.  The fact is that working puzzles is one of the best ways of keeping ourselves challenged.  Our minds may have to work overtime to put one together.

Improve Hand-Eye Coordination

Working puzzles requires some pretty fine skills.  Usually the pieces are pretty small and only fit together in one certain way.  You may be transferring the shapes to something smooth and solid.  You are making an abstract become concrete.  Forcing pieces together only make it worse.  Your perception of shapes is critical to the success of causing the pieces to fit correctly.  Sometimes simply handling them can be a considerable chore.

Improve Memory

Your ability to see and recognize the shapes as they should be takes some concentration.  You have to picture what kind of piece would go into the correct place with the others already there.  You also have to be able to observe all of the pieces, then picture what kind of piece you are seeking out.  Process of elimination is pretty difficult when you are working with a 500- or 1000-piece puzzle.  You will have to develop a mental strategy for how you go about it.  Kids may be better than you if they are using their minds more and you are using yours less.  I had a 7-year-old granddaughter ask that we start a puzzle by putting the middle pieces together first.  I was lost.  She was able to do it.

We Can Improve Our Visualization

The image we have in our minds is important.  As we put a puzzle together, we will have some pictures in our mind.  We can become sharper as we use our ordering skills to sort through our minds to select the right color combinations.  It is often not what we are looking for.  As we use it more, we become much better.  If you have ever watched some sequence of events out of order, you may have noticed that in remembering it, you will place it correctly in order in your mind.  Puzzles can help to improve brain function which can help avoid dementia.  It might be worth giving one a try.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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