According to Ravensburger and Target, Jigsaw puzzles can:

— Exercise the left and right sides of your brain at once

— It’s a mental workout that improves problem-solving skills.

— Improve your short-term memory

— It reinforces connections between brain cells.

— Improve your visual-spatial reasoning

— This helps with driving a car, packing, using a map.

— Are great meditation tools and stress relievers

— Focusing on one image for a long period is meditation.

— Are a great way to connect with family

— A jigsaw puzzle on a table invites the whole family to participate.

— Are great for some needed alone time

— Perfect for people seeking a quiet break.

— Help you live longer, better

— Puzzling wards off the plaque that is the marker of Alzheimer’s.


Tips to stay cool

Here are three ways to beat the heat now before the heat beats you.

— Make your bed the cool place to be. Apply ice packs — preferably soft gels — on top of your mattress and beneath the sheets, placing them in the areas where your neck, lower back and legs are located when you sleep.

— Invest in the right air conditioner. Get one that constantly adjusts its speed, according to LG, to maintain the desired air temperature at a reduced energy usage.

— Cool yourself down effectively. When you’re feeling hot, the first thing you want to do is apply a cool towel to your forehead. It feels good, of course, but for maximum impact, applying this cooling agent to pulse points like your wrist or neck is actually a far better alternative.


How to navigate vaccinations for your family

Vaccines play a vital role in keeping you and your family members healthy, and when you make sure everyone receives the recommended vaccines at the right ages, you will be helping to protect them before they are exposed to serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new interactive guide (cdc.gov/vaccines/growing) to help navigate the vaccines recommended at each stage of life. This resource teaches families about vaccine-preventable diseases — like flu, whooping cough and HPV cancers — and highlights the recommended timing for key immunizations.


A child’s wish to help save lives

A year ago, 15-year-old Jack was unable to go outside because of his blood disorder. A bone marrow donation was his only hope, but matches sometimes aren’t easy to find. So, Jack waited patiently — nine months — until a match was found.

Now Jack wants to help others who are waiting — to pay it forward. When volunteers from Make-A-Wish, which grants life-changing wishes for children battling critical illnesses, met with Jack to identify his wish, he wanted to help others like him. He used his wish to be a bone marrow donation spokesperson and record a PSA encouraging others to sign up to Be The Match.

Jack’s goal is to secure 430 new registrants to help save a life just like his was saved. For every 430 people who sign up through Be The Match (join.bethematch.org/jack), one goes on to be a donor. Visit wish.org to learn more.

— Brandpoint