It’s true the brain changes as we get older – what doesn’t? And a normal part of that is getting a bit more forgetful. In fact by age 19, our ability to solve problems in a novel way starts to decline. Losing your car keys or forgetting your mother in law’s birthday are examples of normal forgetfulness. It’s getting lost in a familiar place that indicates you might be experiencing a more serious cognitive issue. But getting dementia or a serious cognitive condition such as Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging. There are a number of strategies that you can employ to keep your mind agile through the decades.
Here are 10 ways to take care of your brain and keep your short-term memory sharp like the proverbial tack.
1. Eat a Brain-Healthy Diet
Researchers found that following the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on healthy fats like olive oil, fish, vegetables and a moderate amount of wine can reduce your risk of dementia by 20 percent over four years. Other brain-loving foods include blueberries walnuts, salmon and broccoli.
2. Enjoy Regular Exercise
Getting a combination of aerobic exercise like tennis, cycling or walking, along with strength training can increase your cognitive function. Even 20 minutes can be effective for keeping your brain agile. And by the way, no one said exercise had to be drudgery, If you like salsa or swing dancing, by all means do that as your exercise. Just be sure to work up a sweat regularly, on average five times a week.