How puzzles make us smarter

liz reading liz earle wellbeingA new study has shown that completing crossword puzzles and Sudoku won’t protect us from cognitive decline, but that doesn’t mean we should put the newspapers down just yet. New research from Scotland has shown that completing puzzles and intellectually engaging activities throughout our lifetime leads to higher mental abilities.

The results of the study suggested that puzzle-solving doesn’t prevent cognitive decline, or even change the rate of it. Engaging with problem-solving puzzles over our lifetime does, however, improve our IQ. What this means is that when cognitive decline does set in, we are starting from a higher level of mental ability, which could protect us from declining to such an extent that we are considered impaired.

As well as maintaining good physical health, we should also keep our brains exercised through solving crosswords or Sudoku, practicing a musical instrument or reading complex books.