Improve your diet
Eating well can help keep your brain sharp. Harvard Health Publishing1 recommends adopting a Mediterranean style diet, which has been proven to ward off cognitive impairment and dementia. Load up on fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and unsaturated oils (olive oil) on your next trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market, and pretend you’re dining in the Mediterranean!
A recent study in Neurology2 showed that people who do arts and crafts activities and who socialize with friends may be able to prevent memory and processing issues that can lead to dementia. Participants in the study did a variety of activities, such as:
- Painting, drawing and sculpting
- Pottery and ceramics
- Quilting and sewing
- Online gaming and shopping
- Going out with friends to the theatre, movies, concerts and more
Hit the books
Reading books and magazines can keep your mind engaged as you age, according to The National Institute on Aging3. Treating yourself to a magazine subscription, joining or starting a book club or asking a librarian for their recommendation is a good way to get back into the habit of reading.
Do a jigsaw puzzle
Clear off your coffee table (or put up a card table) to create space to put together a puzzle.
Baylor College of Medicine4 reports that studies have shown that jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. To make your puzzle special, get a customized puzzle with photos of your family, favorite vacation spot or beloved pet.
Move your feet
According to the Cleveland Clinic5, there are various ways exercise can help the brain, such as reducing inflammation, lowering levels of stress hormones, improving blood flow, and even promoting cardiovascular health. Keeping your body active may also provide physical benefits to the brain by stimulating the development of new nerve cells and increasing the connections between brain cells. This helps your brain become more efficient and adaptive.