Health Advocate Blog

Simple steps to keep your brain sharp

No matter your age, building activities that exercise your brain into your daily life can help sustain your memory and functioning now and into the future. Taking these steps now may reduce your risk of developing dementia and slow cognitive decline later in life. Here are a few tips to start trying today:

Take care of your total health and well-being. The same things you already do to take care of your physical health will also benefit your mental and brain health. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting sufficient sleep, managing any chronic conditions, and staying on top of preventive health will all positively impact your brain and memory as well.

Stay connected. This has been a challenge during the pandemic, but socializing with friends and family can help boost your brain. Whether it be in-person, online or by phone, regularly chatting and interacting with others provides the mental stimulation necessary to keep your mind sharp. Consider volunteering in the community, going for a walk with a friend, or setting up a video chat with a family member.

Learn something new. Have you wanted to take on a new skill or subject? Look for classes in your community or teach yourself to expand your brain. Whether it is learning a new language, brushing up on a musical instrument you played previously, or working on a project around your house, expanding your knowledge can do wonders for your brain health.

Teach someone else. Is there something you are an expert at? Share that knowledge! Passing on those skills to someone else will help reinforce those skills in your mind and give you an opportunity to connect and interact with others.

Challenge yourself. Tackle a tough jigsaw or crossword puzzle. Try a new-to-you word game. Read a book about a complex subject. Working out your brain each day with new challenges can strengthen your mind and keep you sharp.

Minimize “passive” screen time. While there is nothing wrong with catching a movie or watching a favorite show each evening, try to limit how much time you sit on the couch mindlessly watching television. The more time you keep your brain active, the healthier it will be.

Exercising your brain regularly will help keep your mind sharp for years to come. Try a few of these tips each day to strengthen your memory and keep decline at bay.