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5 of the best puzzle sites to help improve cognition this National Puzzle Day!

iStock-489729278.jpgLove a good puzzle? You’re in luck – here’s our roundup of free ways to give your brain a work out

It’s National Puzzle Day – a great excuse to flex those brain cells and help improve cognition.

It’s often said the brain is like a muscle – you need to use it to not lose it. And keeping sharp cognitively is important for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) because memory, planning, decision making, understanding, concentration and attention span can all be affected by the condition.

A 2016 study looking at brain training versus ordinary computer games showed that both improved overall cognitive function. Training consisted of one hour a day, five days a week for 12 weeks. The brain training group used a cognitive remediation training program where patients were instructed to play a series of games and tasks, compared to a placebo program of ordinary computer games. The brain training group showed nearly three times the improvement than the computer games group. Both groups were able to take part from their own homes rather than attend a clinic, which was beneficial to all.

So while we’re all keeping safe at home, why not get stuck into an online puzzle and give your grey matter a workout? We’ve rounded up five of the best sites for all your puzzle pleasure.

Braingle

Even the most fanatical puzzler would struggle to get through Braingle’s more than 15,000 puzzles, riddles, problems and brain teasers. Plus, you can submit puzzles and riddles yourself, and the site’s active community of more than 20,000 users are constantly adding new content so you’ll never get bored.

www.braingle.com/

Sudoko

Since the Japanese puzzle game Sudoko hit our shores a few years ago it’s been a roaring success and it’s hard to find a newspaper that doesn’t carry a grid or two on its puzzle pages. But you don’t have to wait for the paper to arrive to get your fix, Sudoku.com has you covered.

https://sudoku.com/

The Word Search

Or if words are more your forte, you’re bound to love a good wordsearch. Website The Word Search has a fantastic collection of word search puzzles and they post new ones pretty regularly, so once you’re hooked you may as well bookmark it to feed your wordy addiction! Plus, you can use their word search making tool for free, meaning you can hit your friends up with some of your own clever creations and help them fall down their own wordsearch wormholes.

https://thewordsearch.com/

Crosswords

Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than completing a good old-fashioned crossword. Well, if that’s the case, head over to Boatload Puzzles, which claims to be the home of the world’s largest supply of crossword puzzles – 40,000 of them, in fact. Brush up your brain skills and have fun at the same time!

www.boatloadpuzzles.com/playcrossword

Jigsaws

Even the humble jigsaw can be played online. Any fan will attest to the fact that getting lost in a beautiful picture puzzle has a meditative effect on your mind and mood. Head to Jigsaw Planet and get that spatial awareness up to speed in no time.

https://www.jigsawplanet.com/

For more information about cognition and MS, download our free Cognition Choices booklet here Cognition Choices booklet