5 Ways Solving Puzzles Can Improve Your Health


Would you be surprised if I told you that solving puzzles can improve your mental and physical health? First off, let’s go over what exactly defines a puzzle. A puzzle is any activity that requires mental effort, and has a definite ending.

Examples would include a riddle, a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or the famous Rubik’s cube.

Ask yourself – when was the last time you solved one of those listed puzzles? If you can recall doing a puzzle before, they’re very involving and require immense focus depending on the difficulty. This focused challenge can provide several physical health benefits, alongside the mental benefits of solving a new problem.

In this article I’m going to go over a few health benefits of solving puzzles on a regular basis. And guess what? They can even be fun!

5 Health Benefits of Solving Puzzles

Puzzles relieve stress

Puzzling takes a lot of concentration and mental effort. While you’re solving a tough Sudoku, learning how to complete the Rubik’s cube, or racking your brain over a logic puzzle, you won’t have any mental capacity left to think of anything else.

Like a form of meditation, puzzling can be so involving that you forget about your daily woes, stress, and are forced into a relaxed state. Regular puzzling can lead to lowered blood pressure, reduced stress levels, and be a relaxation technique.

Improve your problem solving (mental capacity)

Puzzles that require a serious mental effort (ex. learning something new) work wonders for the brain and your mental health. If your brain is used to solving complex problems via puzzles – this improved mental capacity can translate to solving problems in the workplace, at home, and can enrich your life.

Challenging yourself with puzzles on a regular basis is a surefire way to get those neurons firing and work on parts of your brain you haven’t used for a while, or maybe never did!

Reduce risk of mental disease

Studies show that doing puzzles like crosswords combat mental diseases like Alzheimer’s and others that develop with aging. We spend time worrying about our diet, fitness, but often overlook the command center of the body when concerning over our aging bodies. Treat your mind right and it will treat you well by staying sharp as you age.

Puzzling = fun

Looking forward to that Sunday crossword, completing a difficult jigsaw puzzle, or beating your last time on the Rubik’s cube can all be satisfying and bring joy to your life. A life without happiness and entertainment isn’t much of one at all – so adding in the hobby of puzzling can work to extend your life and keep you happy by providing a source of entertainment.

Slow mental aging

We’re getting older every second that passes, it’s a fact. On the same topic as combating mental illnesses, puzzles work to keep your mind sharp in every which way. Keeping your mind sharp, and your thoughts straight by regularly exercising that brain of yours can reduce mental aging. Stay sharp enough and you can work for more years (if you enjoy it), help your children and grandchildren with their education, and solve problems into your older years that you may have otherwise needed help with.

So there you have it, 5 very strong reasons as to why you should be solving those puzzles every day. For options you have Sudoku, crosswords, logic puzzles, physical disentanglement puzzles, riddles, word puzzles, and more. Most of these are available as tangible items and you can also get puzzle apps for just about anything – there’s no shortage!

About me: I run PuzzleDude.com which is a puzzle resource site dedicated to spreading information about puzzles, sharing puzzle solutions, and discovering cool new puzzles. Right now my favorite puzzles include any puzzle book by Will Shortz (the editor of the New York Times crossword section) and the Megaminx which is a Rubik’s cube variation. Those are the puzzles I’m currently into and solving for my daily puzzle-meditation :)!

James Craft