Why Crossword Puzzles Help the Brain

What is a Crossword Puzzle?

A crossword puzzleis a random series of lines with spaces for letters that correspond with given clues. Most crossword puzzles only incorporate letters.The key to the crossword is to use all the clues and answers to figure out the ones you do not know. The crossword's origin dates back to the early 20th century, and has quickly become a huge hit in the United States.

Why Crossword Puzzles Help the Brain

Most studies around the world show that the average person only uses about 10% of his or her brain. That number may vary under certain circumstances. One circumstance is the crossword. Recent studies show that crossword users may use up to 14% of their brain while taking on the challenge of a crossword puzzle. It sounds like a minute amount, but only about 25% of our brains are accessible for knowledge.
What does all this extra brain usage entail?Studies have shown that this extra mental exercise actually helps prevent Alzheimer's Disease. Crosswords aren't the only activity on the list, however. Other activities included writing the alphabet with the opposite hand, Sudoku, and even dancing.
How does it actually help prevent Alzheimer's? After doing some digging, I concluded that scientists really do not know, but guess that it has to do with extra blood flowing to the brain during exercise. This blood flow combined with intellectual stimulation of the brain lobes aids the brain in becoming stronger and "durable," meaning less likely to contract Alzheimer's.

 

So Where Should I Start?

I thought you would never ask. Crossword puzzles are everywhere: Internet, books, newspapers, magazines, the list goes on and on. Go to google right now and type in 'free printable crosswords' and presto. Crosswords do take some time to familiarize with the styles of asking the reader questions, but, with a little practice, you will see how fun they are.

On top of helping the brain and enjoyment, you can even see an increase in vocabulary and general knowledge. Some crossword puzzle books purposely ask the same questions, maybe in a different wording, in different puzzles (the puzzles may be far apart) to test you on how well you can retain the knowledge you learned from past puzzles.

What are you waiting for? Get started on a puzzle today!

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

Vicki.Pierce profile image

Vicki.Pierce 5 years ago from Grand Rapids, Michigan

I have never been a fan of crossword puzzles - my 'middle daughter' absolutely loves them tho. She looks forward the crossword puzzle in the Sunday paper.

You certainly gave some good reasons to start doing these puzzles.


the50marathons17 profile image

the50marathons17 5 years ago from Long Island, New York Author

Yes the Sunday is usually the toughest. I read the New York Times and do those crosswords. I also carry around a little book. I understand if people don't like them. Sometimes after completing a tough one my brain is fried and I need to relax for awhile!


Vicki.Pierce profile image

Vicki.Pierce 5 years ago from Grand Rapids, Michigan

My daughter is very protective of her Sunday crossword puzzles, she can be quite comical in her obsession.


the50marathons17 profile image

the50marathons17 5 years ago from Long Island, New York Author

Haha. I understand where shes coming from though. Most puzzlers don't want any help. After all, one free fill-in could open up the whole puzzle and make everything too easy. By the way, nice macaw you got there!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working