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From mindless to mindful.

The word “break” conjures up such relaxing images—from slippers and a cup o’ Joe to sipping ice-cold lemonade under a tree-strung hammock. But why is it always about the food?

Let’s stimulate our minds, people. No point wasting all that precious brainpower staring into space. The next time you’re taking a break from it all, grab some crossword puzzles. They offer an enjoyable way to relax, stimulate the mind and keep us humble. (Try one from a major newspaper if you want to feel like a complete idiot.)

Puzzles increase your memory power, teach you how to look things up in crossword dictionaries—er, um, only as a last resort—and may even help protect you against Alzheimer’s disease. No kidding. The Associated Press reported that adults who exercise their brain with crossword puzzles are 2.5 times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease.

Pass the crossword, please.

Posted: 2/8/08
2/9/08 Next Tip»