Once Orioles build their bench, Buck Showalter wants to use it more to spell everyday players

Tools for Staying Fit and Young

Chicago Tribune

Anything that enhances balance or brain fitness makes a great gift for an aging friend or relative.

If an exercise ball is too daunting, try a Balance Disc ($19.99). Simply sitting on this portable - and less wobbly - alternative can help improve posture and balance. It comes with a hand pump and instruction chart. naturalfitness.com, 312-376-0206.

Designed specifically for the older crowd, "Senior Smart Puzzles" are a collection of mazes, hidden objects and picture puzzles with vintage illustrations designed to stimulate a mature mind. Rather than children's illustrations, the puzzles use objects from the past (sewing machines, drive-ins and cars from the '50s) to trigger memories that might encourage conversation. Get them at seniorsmartpuzzles.com, amazon.com or BookSurge Publishing (866-308-6235, option 6). $10.99.

Refine your visual perception and awaken-problem solving skills with Tangoes, a game based on the 4,000-year-old Chinese tangram puzzle. The object is to form the images shown on the cards using all seven pieces (a square, a parallelogram, two small triangles, one medium triangle and two large triangles). Play alone or against someone. $13.99 at marbles thebrainstore.com, 312-494-7769.


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