Exercise Your Brain: 5 Tips to Keep Your Brain Nimble

Not all memory loss is inevitable — read on to learn how to keep your brain nimble at any age.

A modest decline in memory is to be expected as we get older. We forget someone’s name but recall it later. We find the need to make lists to remember things more pressing. And it seems we misplace the keys several times a day. Manageable? Yes. But frustrating nonetheless.

The good news is we don’t have to sit back and succumb to age-related memory loss. According to Larry Walker, MD, of Renown Behavioral Health, there are concrete things we can do at any age to keep our brains sharp, nimble and engaged.

Keeping your mind nimble is like exercising the muscles of your body. Activities such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku are excellent ways to keep your brain sharp and enhance recall.

Keeping your mind nimble is like exercising the muscles of your body. Activities such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku are excellent ways to keep your brain sharp and enhance recall.

5 Simple Tips to Exercise Your Brain

  1. Volunteer or participate in meaningful activities outside of work. This engages your brain and emotions in a healthy, positive way.
  2. Engage in moderate, regular exercise to tone body and mind. Overall good health is critical to brain health. Even casual daily walking can boost your mental abilities.
  3. Take vitamins such as vitamin E and Omega 3 supplements including fish oil. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, and ease up on processed foods. The proper nutrients can improve circulation to your brain, which will amp up your cognitive abilities. Consult your doctor for the best diet and supplement choices for your specific health needs.
  4. Get a blood test to determine your body’s hormonal and nutrient levels. Specific hormones and nutrients  can affect cognition. Be mindful that cholesterol levels and medications to treat cholesterol, such as statin drugs, can also affect your mental faculties.
  5. Engage in brain activities like reading, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and Trivial Pursuit. These types of activities can improve your brain’s focus and concentration and — most important — test your memory and general knowledge. According to Dr. Walker, “People who do Sudoku are 90 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.” You derive more benefit by engaging in these activities consistently for short amounts of time, so make a weekly appointment with yourself to build brainpower.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from memory loss, contact your primary care physician who can then direct you to an appropriate specialist for evaluation if needed.

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