Ditch Your Device and Exercise Your Brain with These Puzzles and Games

"); $spagination = flexSlider.find(".spagination"); SPagination.Init($spagination.get( 0 ), { size: slide_obj.count, // pages size page: 1, // selected page step: 3, // pages before and after current cb: function(p){ flexSlider.flexAnimate(p-1, true); } }); } } } function gtx_gallery_slide_before(slide_obj){ var slide=slide_obj.animatingTo; $active_slide=$all_slides.eq(slide) ; slideshow_ad_loaded = false; var current_html = $active_slide.children(".gtx-ad-container").html(); if (current_html) {$active_slide.children(".gtx-ad-container").html(current_html.trim())} gtx_mixpanel_track_slide( slide_obj ); changeURL(parseInt($active_slide.attr("data-attachment_id"))); //THUMBS SYNC - PAGINATED THUMBNAIL NAVIGATION if($thumbs!=="" && navigation == "paginated_thumbs"){ var right_item=$slider.find(".slides li[data-i="+(slide +1 )+"]").attr("data-i-only-pics") if( right_item!= ""){ $thumbs.find("li.gtx-thumb-img").removeClass("flex-active-slide"); $thumbs.find("li.gtx-thumb-img[data-i="+(slide +1 )+"]").addClass("flex-active-slide"); $page=$thumbs.find(".slides>li").has("li[data-i="+(slide +1 )+"]"); $thumbs.flexAnimate($page.index(), true); } } } function gtx_gallery_slide_after(slide_obj){ var slide=slide_obj.animatingTo; $active_slide=$all_slides.eq(slide) ; if($active_slide.hasClass("gtx-ad-slide")==1){ if ($active_slide.find('iframe').length === 1) { $active_slide.find('iframe')[0].remove(); } $slider.delay(100).queue(function(){ $(this).addClass("gtx-gallery-loading").dequeue(); }); $ad_container=$active_slide.children(".gtx-ad-container").first(); if ($($ad_container).html().length li[data-i="+(slide +1 )+"]").attr("data-i-only-pics") if( right_item!= ""){ $thumbs.find("li.gtx-thumb-img").removeClass("flex-active-slide"); $thumbs.find("li.gtx-thumb-img").eq(right_item -1 ).addClass("flex-active-slide"); $thumbs.flexAnimate(right_item-1, true); } } if(typeof(googletag) != "undefined" && googletag !== null && refresh_all_ads){ // Refresh ads within view var tmp_now=new Date().getTime(); var last_refresh_diff= tmp_now - last_ad_refresh; if(last_refresh_diff > 1000){ reset_ads_and_refresh(); last_ad_refresh=tmp_now; } } //LAZY LOAD range=5; var $slides_to_hanle=$all_slides.slice(slide, slide + range +1); if(slide - range >= 0){ $slides_to_hanle=$.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_slides.slice(slide - range, slide )); }else{ $slides_to_hanle=$.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_slides.slice(0, range )); $slides_to_hanle=$.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_slides.slice(range * -1 )); } if(slide + range >= $all_slides.size()){ //handle first slides $slides_to_hanle= $.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_slides.slice(0,range)); } $slides_to_hanle.find(".gtx-image-container[data-background]").each(function () { var src = $(this).attr("data-background"); $(this).css("background-image", "url("+src+")").removeAttr("data-background"); }); adjustNavHeight(); if( typeof SPagination !== "undefined" && flexSlider.find(".spagination").length>0 ){ if(SPagination.page != slide+1){ SPagination.page = slide + 1; SPagination.Start(); } } } function reset_ads_and_refresh(){ if(!advanced_ad_refresh){ // if option is not enabled, refresh all ads googletag.pubads().refresh(); return; } if(!ads_to_refresh){ return; } var newAds = []; var fullAdsToRefresh = []; for(var i = 0; i 0){ return false; } // out-of-page ads are not eligible for refresh if(event.slot.getOutOfPage() === true){ return false; } var slotWidth = $('#'+event.slot.getSlotElementId() + ' iframe').width(); var slotHeight = $('#'+event.slot.getSlotElementId() + ' iframe').height(); event.slot.tn_positionX = $('#'+event.slot.getSlotElementId()).offset().left; event.slot.tn_positionY = $('#'+event.slot.getSlotElementId()).offset().top; event.slot.tn_width = slotWidth; event.slot.tn_height = slotHeight; if(ads_to_refresh.indexOf(event.slot) wTop && slot.tn_positionY 8){ gtx_gallery_thumbs_set_backwards() } } function gtx_gallery_thumbs_after(slide_obj){ if(slide_obj.count > 8){ gtx_gallery_thumbs_set_backwards() } } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_start(slide_obj){ gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_lazy(); if(false && slide_obj.count > 8){ $thumbs.find(".flex-control-nav.flex-control-paging").removeClass("flex-control-paging").addClass("g-pagination"); } if(slide_obj.count > 8){ $thumbs.find(".flex-control-nav.flex-control-paging").hide().after("

"); $pagination = $thumbs.find(".spagination"); SPagination.Init($pagination.get( 0 ), { size: slide_obj.count, // pages size page: 1, // selected page step: 3, // pages before and after current cb: function(p){ $thumbs.flexAnimate(p-1, true); } }); } } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_before(slide_obj){ var slide=(typeof slide_obj == "object" && slide_obj.animatingTo ? slide_obj.animatingTo : 0); gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_lazy(slide_obj); } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_after(slide_obj){ var slide=(typeof slide_obj == "object" && slide_obj.animatingTo ? slide_obj.animatingTo : 0); //THUMBS SYNC - Go to first slide of this batch if($thumbs!=="" && navigation == "paginated_thumbs"){ var $active_slide=$slider.find(".slides>li.flex-active-slide"); var $active_thumb_page=$thumbs.find(".slides>li.flex-active-slide"); //Check if the current slide is within this thumb batch if(!$active_thumb_page.find("li[data-i="+$active_slide.attr("data-i")+"]").size()){ first_thumb=$active_thumb_page.find("li").first().attr("data-i"); flexSlider.flexAnimate(first_thumb - 1, true); } } if( typeof SPagination !== "undefined" && $thumbs.find(".spagination").length>0 ){ if(SPagination.page != slide+1){ SPagination.page = slide + 1; SPagination.Start(); } } } function gtx_gallery_paginated_thumbs_lazy(slide_obj){ var slide=(typeof slide_obj == "object" && slide_obj.animatingTo ? slide_obj.animatingTo : 0); //LAZY LOAD THUMBS if($all_thumbs!=="" && navigation == "paginated_thumbs"){ range=1; var $slides_to_hanle=$all_thumbs.slice(slide, slide + range + 1); if(slide - range >= 0){ $slides_to_hanle=$.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_thumbs.slice(slide - range, slide )); }else{ $slides_to_hanle=$.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_thumbs.slice(0, range )); $slides_to_hanle=$.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_thumbs.slice(range * -1 )); } if(slide + range >= $all_thumbs.size()){ //handle first slides $slides_to_hanle= $.merge($slides_to_hanle, $all_thumbs.slice(0,range)); } $slides_to_hanle.each(function () { $(this).find("img[lazy-src]").each(function () { var src = $(this).attr("lazy-src"); if(!src) return; $(this).attr("src",src).removeAttr("lazy-src"); $thumbs.find("img[lazy-src=\""+src+"\"]").attr("src",src).removeAttr("lazy-src"); }); }); } } function adjustNavHeight(){ imageHeight = flexSlider.find(".gtx-slide-img.flex-active-slide .gtx-image-container").outerHeight(); if(imageHeight > 0){ flexSlider.find(".flex-prev,.flex-next").css("top",Math.round(imageHeight/2)); } } var nextSlotId = 1; function generateNextSlotName() { var id = nextSlotId++; return "adslot_" + id+"_"+Math.floor( Date.now() / 1000 ); } function addAdInto(selector,options) { try{ gtx_gallery_enable_dfp(); }catch(err) { } var slide=options.slide || -1; var slotName = generateNextSlotName(); var ad_index = 0; // Create a div for the slot var slotDiv = document.createElement('div'); slotDiv.id = slotName; // Id must be the same as slotName $( selector ).append( slotDiv ); try{ ad_index=$( selector ).closest(".gtx-ad-slide").attr("data-i-only-ads"); }catch(err) { } // Define the slot itself, call display() to // register the div and refresh() to fetch ad. googletag.cmd.push(function() { slideshow_ad_loaded = true; adslots[slotName] = googletag.defineSlot('/21745780820/wkbt/health/ditch-your-device-and-exercise-your-brain-with-these-puzzles-and-games', [300, 250], slotName) .addService(googletag.pubads()) .setTargeting("placement", "gallery") .setTargeting("slide", slide) .setTargeting("post", '2183078') .setTargeting("category", '["health"]') .setTargeting("galleryAdIndex", ad_index); googletag.display(slotName); googletag.sizeMapping().addSize( [0,0], [[300,250]]) // force refresh if lazy loading if(gtx_ad_man.lazy_loading_ads) { googletag.pubads().refresh([adslots[slotName]]); } }); } gtx_gallery_syncHash = function(path){ pic = ""; re = /pic\/?([0-9]+)\/?$/i; if(!path && window.location.hash && window.location.hash.match(re)) path = window.location.hash; if(!path && window.location.pathname && window.location.pathname.match(re)) path = window.location.pathname; if(path){ matchslide = path.match(re); if(matchslide && matchslide[1]>0){ pic = parseInt(matchslide[1]); } if(!isNaN(pic) && pic > 0){ slide=get_slide_by_attachment_id(pic); if(slide>0){ avoid_next_pageview = true; flexSlider.flexAnimate(slide - 1, true); } } }else{ gtx_mixpanel_track_slide( ) } } function debounce(func, wait, immediate) { var timeout; return function() { var context = this, args = arguments; var later = function() { timeout = null; if (!immediate) func.apply(context, args); }; var callNow = immediate && !timeout; clearTimeout(timeout); timeout = setTimeout(later, wait); if (callNow) func.apply(context, args); }; }; // delay the url state replacement to avoid overload // RAYOS-271 var efficientlyReplaceState = debounce(function(title, path){ window.history.replaceState({}, title, path); }, 1250) function changeURL(pic){ basepath = window.location.pathname.replace(/\/pic\/?([0-9]+)\/?$/i,"/"); if(isNaN(pic)) return; path = basepath + "pic/"+pic+"/"; title = "Pic "+pic; if (typeof(window.history.replaceState) == "function") { efficientlyReplaceState(title, path) } else { window.location.hash = path; } } function get_slide_by_attachment_id(id){ var slide=$slider.find(".slides li[data-attachment_id="+id+"]").attr("data-i"); return parseInt(slide, 10); } function gtx_mixpanel_track_slide( slide_obj ){ if(slide_obj){ var slide = slide_obj.animatingTo; }else{ var slide = 0; } $active_slide=$all_slides.eq(slide) ; if(!avoid_next_pageview){ try{ var loc=location.pathname+"#slide"+(parseInt(slide)+1); ga("send", "pageview", loc); if(ga.getByName("gtxcelTracker")){ ga("gtxcelTracker.send", "pageview", loc); } }catch(err){ } } avoid_next_pageview = false; //Mixpanel track image viewed try{ if(typeof mixpanel !== "undefined"){ var slide_type=$active_slide.attr("data-slide-type") || ""; if(slide_type=="pic") slide_type="image"; // rename "pic" to "image" mixpanel_args = { title: "", "post id": '2183078', "slide type": slide_type, "gallery template": "Slideshow Thumbnails", } mixpanel_args.categories = "Health"; mixpanel_args.author = "Rayos Syndication User"; mixpanel_args[ "post type" ] = "page"; if(slide_type == "ad"){ mixpanel_args[ "ad index" ]=$active_slide.attr("data-i-only-ads") || ""; }else{ mixpanel_args[ "slide number" ]= $active_slide.attr("data-i-only-pics") || ""; mixpanel_args[ "image title" ]= $active_slide.attr("data-title") || ""; mixpanel_args.caption= $active_slide.attr("data-caption") || ""; mixpanel_args.url= $active_slide.attr("data-pic") || ""; } var img_src = $active_slide.attr('src'); if(!img_src){ img_src = $active_slide.attr('data-pic'); } var pattern = /uploads\/(.*)/; var match = pattern.exec(img_src); var img_path = match ? img_path = match[1] : ""; mixpanel_args[ "image path" ]= img_path; mixpanel.track("image viewed", mixpanel_args); } }catch(err){ console.error("error", err); } } //Add a callback on ad render googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().addEventListener('slotRenderEnded', function(event) { var slotName=event.slot.getSlotElementId(); if(typeof adslots[slotName] !=="undefined" && !event.isEmpty){ $slider.clearQueue(); $slider.removeClass("gtx-gallery-loading"); } }); }); jQuery("#gtx-gallery-thumbs-2183078").flexslider({ animation: "slide", controlNav: false, animationLoop: false, slideshow: false, itemWidth: 100, itemMargin: 5, move: 1, //asNavFor: "#gtx-gallery-slider-2183078", prevText: "", nextText: "", after: gtx_gallery_thumbs_after, after: gtx_gallery_thumbs_before }); $thumbs=$("#gtx-gallery-thumbs-2183078").data("flexslider"); $thumbs.find("li.gtx-thumb-img").first( ).addClass("flex-active-slide"); $("#gtx-gallery-slider-2183078").flexslider({ animation: "slide", pauseOnHover: true, controlNav: false, //animationLoop: false, //slideshow: false, //sync: "#gtx-gallery-thumbs-2183078", prevText: "", nextText: "", slideshow: false, init: gtx_gallery_slide_init, start: gtx_gallery_slide_start, before: gtx_gallery_slide_before, after: gtx_gallery_slide_after }); if(mobile_mode){ $slider.find(".flex-direction-nav").hide(); } });

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Just as weightlifting builds muscles, many experts agree that doing brain exercises helps strengthen your mind as you age. But beware – digital diversions are everywhere – even for older adults. Research shows that Americans ages 60 and over have increased screen time by nearly 30 minutes a day over the past decade.

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

Crossword Puzzles, Sudoku, and Word Finds

Playing mobile word games is undeniably fun, but traditional newspaper subscribers may argue that there’s something special about the look, smell, and feel of actual newsprint. Sitting down with a pencil or pen to do the local paper’s daily or weekly crossword puzzle engages multiple senses, cuts screen time, and gives your brain a workout.

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

If you don’t get the paper, you can buy crossword, word finds, Sudoku, or Variety books with hundreds of different puzzles at a newsstand, supermarket, or bookstore. Tackling new mental challenges is also good for brain health, so be sure to try several and mix up puzzles you love with ones you’ve never tried!

See the Big Picture with Jigsaw Puzzles

Doing a jigsaw puzzle engages multiple cognitive functions. To put pieces in their proper place and reveal the final big picture, you must recognize patterns, discern colors and shapes, use your memory and even “rotate” pieces in your mind to determine where they do and don’t fit. The more complex a picture is and the more pieces a puzzle has, the more your brain will work to solve it. Plus, putting a puzzle together with family and friends is a fun way to connect!Doing puzzles related to your hobbies and interests – like Disney characters, fields filled with colorful flowers, different breeds of dogs, or anything else you like – can make the project visually stimulating and more fun.

Beat Boredom with Board Games

There’s no better way to beat the digital doldrums than having a game night with family and friends – virtual game nights count, too! Classic games like Checkers, Dominos, and Chess involve strategic thinking to defeat your opponent. Word-related board games like Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords, and Dabble help stimulate memory, sharpen focus, and promote learning new vocabulary. Whether you’re using deductive reasoning to guess whodunit in Clue or attempting to broker a property trade in Monopoly, the wide array of game night options can provide hours of fun social interactions while you exercise multiple parts of your brain.

Play Your Cards Wisely

Playing 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’re not feeling up for a virtual card game with others, Solitaire will forever be a tried and true favorite.  

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