They say variety is the spice of life, but did you know it’s also key to keeping your brain nimble and healthy?

A study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences found that people who perform a wider variety of different activities keep their brains functioning better over the years. That’s because doing a mix of daily activities keeps you on your toes by putting you in different situations that require a range of responses.

Engaging in what the study calls “activity diversity” can also be a lot of fun: You can incorporate entertaining activities like brain teasers into a mix of habits including exercise, leisure time, volunteering, spending time with kids and helping others. Puzzles provide an enjoyable challenge, and they require you to use brain power to find the solution.

If you want to add brain teasers to your routine, here are two to get you started: “In the Balance” and “Switcheroo.” The first is a logical and numbers game that requires spatial reasoning and a bit of math. The second is a word game that also incorporates numbers.

To solve “In the Balance,” look at the first three scales, which are perfectly balanced and hold different numbers of colored shapes (red squares, blue circles and purple diamonds) on each side. By studying these scales, you can determine how many green triangles you need to balance the fourth scale.

Were you able to solve it? Click here to double check your answer.

Now switch gears to a word-focused challenge with “Switcheroo.” To solve this puzzle, look at the first word and its equivalent, given in numbers. Then look at the second word, made from mixing up the letters of the first word, to figure out its numerical equivalent.

Were you able to solve it? Click here to double check your answer.

**If you gave your brain a workout by mixing numbers problems and word games with these two brain teasers, comment and let us know. Are you more of a numbers person or a word person? Was it hard to switch back and forth between the two? Tell us how long it took you to solve these puzzles, and let us know if you plan to make brain teasers a regular part of your daily routine.**

Loved both games. In Balance was more challenging for me. Love word games.

The “in the balance” was more of a challenge. I enjoy doing brain excerises. The county I live in in illinois also offers free online brain excerises for an hour once a month. Please keep them coming. Thank You

I was able to both the numbers and the word problems in a minute each and got them all correct

Balance was harder

Numbers were easier. I love sudoku

Thank you

This was interesting. I had to think more on the Balance than the Switcheroo. I have always preferred words over numbers. I never really cared for math but spent my entire working years dealing with weights and measurements. It took a little longer on the first than the second. i didn’t time it but it was fairly quick.

Easy puzzles.

Enjoyed both puzzles. The first (mathematical) was more fun.

Got them all.

I didn’t time myself but the first problem was more difficult for me than the second. I am more of a word person than a numbers person. I do word games but leave suduko alone.

I have some online businesses and I probably rely on the calculator way too much.

Yes should do it everyday to sharp my brain

Both; however, I enjoy challenge of Numbers over Words.

Great challenge! Liked the second better and opted to answer in my head instead of writing it out. Work that muscle I say!!

Will Switcheroo become an app option?

Lots of fun, keep that coming.

What the heck??? Would be nice to have a hint or tell at the end how you came up with the answer in switcharoo.

I preferred the second puzzle because it was easier and could find a pattern. The first I did not get and I was never good at math. I would like to see more word puzzles. I love Wordle!

It took about 3 minutes to complete both sets of puzzles. the first one (scales) took me the longest. I’m more of a word person. I would love to add this type of activity to my daily schedule, but I have difficulty finding them.

Hi Elaine – If you’re interested in doing more brain teasers, you can find several puzzles here on Extra Mile. We’re glad to hear that you enjoy the brain teasers!

I did both in my head and enjoyed them. Good workout.

I like numbers better, 1st puzzle took me 3 mins and the 2nd was 3 mins also.

TERRIFIC games!! Enjoyed solving them. Thanks for a great “brain/mental workout”. Looking forward to receiving more soon.

I definitely was more of a word person.

I scored 100% on both. I did write them down as I went along. Where can I get more of these brain-teasers?

Hi Michael – You can find more brain teasers here on our site. Thanks for reading Extra Mile!

Nice morning challenge!

The balance problem took me several minutes. I got the switcheroo puzzle quickly. No.

I like both word and number teasers.

I liked these brain teasers.

about 3 min. no problems

Fun and easy! Keep these coming!!

I successfully answered both puzzles. Logic required on both.

that was fun

since i occupy my mind with made up games like this, it was simple enough. fun.

Good challenges. With the switcheroo, I was able to use two numbers in the second word to find answers rather quickly. In #3, the two middle letters were the same so I looked in the answers for that two number pattern. Saved time and reduced the work load.

Thanks for the challenges – gave me a head ache but I did it without writing it down.

a lot of fun…good brain exercise..but pretty easy

I much preferred the second (word) puzzle. Anything to do with math has always been difficult for me.

I’d like to do more of these. For the math game, I started doing in my head but halfway through, I needed to switch to paper. The math took longer than the word game, which I did in my head. I didn’t time any of it since I hadn’t expected to be asked about timings.

It’s easy if I write it down but hard to do in my head

Fun break in the day.

I used pen and paper and didn’t time. The math took longer and I arrived at the same answer with a little different method. The word game was definitely easier, maybe some would say that I was cheating.

I enjoy puzzles.

That’s great to hear! Thanks for commenting, Sherrie!

Great fun!

easy puzzles?