Six Tips to Stay Mentally Sharp as You Age

We may all getting be getting older, but losing brain function is not inevitable. Just as exercising a muscle can keep it strong, exercising the brain can help create new brain cells and build new neural pathways. Here are six tips to help improve brain function and stay mentally sharp:

#1: Learn a New Skill

Learn to play an instrument or perhaps a new foreign language. Doing something outside your comfort zone involves many different areas of the brain. Even something as simple as trying a new driving route while running errands will help build new neural pathways.

#2: Use Your Hands

Activities that require eye-hand coordination can boost brain power. Play catch with a ball, use your non-dominant hand to do simple tasks, or learn sign language to exercise new areas of the brain.

#3: Change Your Routines

Broaden your experiences by trying new activities. Attend an art exhibit, research something that interests you, or pick up a new hobby. Find opportunities to discuss your experiences with family and friends.

#4: Memorize

Exercise your brain by memorizing a new word and its definition every day. Or try memorizing poetry or song lyrics.

#5: Eat Antioxidants

Foods like blueberries and dark chocolate contain antioxidants, which destroy the free radicals that cause age-related diseases. Foods high in antioxidants also can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may even delay or prevent diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

#6: Move

Physical activity boosts brain function and has been shown to increase the number of brain cells in the hippocampus. Make it a point to get 15 to 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week to lessen the chance of developing Alzheimer’s.

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