Sudoku Keeps Your Mind in Shape

You know that your physical health is important, which is what keeps you going to the gym, for a run or popping in a workout disc every day, but how often do you exercise your mind? Unless you're spending hours a night helping your high-schooler figure out Algebra or get through War and Peace, your mind may be in need of a workout, just like your body.

It's been well-known that people who regularly work out cross word puzzles are have larger vocabularies, better communication skills and improved memory, and now similarities are being seen in people who spend time playing Sudoku puzzles. Brain fitness games, like word puzzles and Sudoku, are helping elderly people improve their visual and verbal memory following events that cause mild memory loss.

Researchers found that, played regularly, brain fitness games offer modest improvements because the games challenge the person's ability to think and remember. A group of elderly patients played games that tested their spatial, language, math and memory skills at levels that increased in difficulty as they proceeded, while the control group didn't play any games during the study. The gamers were tested frequently and there were minor improvement after two months, but at the six month mark, their scores were significantly better than their non-gaming counterparts. Playing regularly over a long period of time was the key to seeing improvements in the patients.

Another set of researchers looked at healthy people and found that mind games offer very little by way of improving their problem solving abilities and cognitive skills. So, just as you wouldn't put yourself on a diet of only apples and carrots, it's probably not a good idea to sit down and do page after page of Sudoku puzzles in hopes you're preventing memory loss. That said, there's certainly no harm in playing if you enjoy them as entertainment. There are plenty of versions of Sudoku available online. In addition there are also many other numbers games to play like bingo, concentration games, and even the popular physics games. It's far more useful that catching up on the latest reality show and you'll have the feeling of success when you accomplish each puzzle.

Will playing Sudoku on a daily basis keep you from being diagnosed with Alzheimer's later on in life? It's not a sure thing, but there's no harm in playing Sudoku and word games to keep your mind agile and active. Best case scenario is that you avoid memory loss as you age, while the worst case scenario is that you know some random trivia and can solve a Sudoku puzzle faster than everyone else in your wing of the nursing home!


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