Mind & Body

Get Smart, Live Long

Sharpen your concentration—and lengthen your life—with these brainteasers.

Get Smart, Live Long
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Brain exercises like crossword puzzles may help lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease, says memory researcher Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Center on Aging and author of The Longevity Bible: 8 Essential Strategies for Keeping Your Mind Sharp and Your Body Young (Hyperion, 2006). The key is to do something difficult enough to engage your brain without straining it. To get started, try these brainteasers from Small's book.

1. Say "silk" six times. What do cows drink?

2. See how many words you can spell from these letters: L, I, G, O, B, A, E. No letter may be used twice, and each word must contain the letter L.

3. Count up the number of F's in the following sentence: FRESH FISH IS AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF OMEGA–3 AND A BETTER SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS THAN MANY REALIZE.

4. All of the vowels have been removed from the following proverb, and the remaining consonants are in the correct sequence, broken up into groups of two to five letters. Replace the vowels and figure out the proverb. STRK WHLTH RNS HT

Answers:
1. Cows generally drink water. If you said "milk," then you might need to slow down a bit and focus your attention.

2. Dr. Small came up with: Agile, ail, ale, bagel, bail, bale, blog, boil, el, gail, gale, gel, glib, glob, globe, goal, goalie, lab, lag, lea, leg, lego, lib, lie, lob, lobe, log, loge, oblige. Did you think up more?

3. Many people count two, but the correct answer is four. Our brains often don't process the f's in of.

4. Strike while the iron is hot.