Health & Wellness

5 Tips To Help Keep Your Brain Sharp

March 16,2018 | Health & Wellness

Do you find yourself forgetting where you put your car keys, or why you walked into the kitchen? As we get older, our memory may not be as sharp as it once was, but there are ways you can help keep your brain healthy and active well beyond retirement. To celebrate Brain Awareness Week we’ve got five tips to help keep your brain at its best.

 
  1. A Healthy Body Supports a Healthy Mind. It’s no secret that our minds and bodies are linked. To help keep your brain healthy, you need to take steps to keep your body healthy. A scientific advisory from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association published in the journal of Stroke promotes seven steps people can take to help keep their heart, lungs, and brain healthy. These steps include:  

    • Managing blood pressure
    • Controlling cholesterol 
    • Keeping blood sugar normal 
    • Losing extra weight 
    • Quitting (or never starting) smoking 
    • Maintaining a healthy diet 
    • Getting physically active 


(For more on each of these steps, see the American Heart Association website.)

  1. Challenge Your Brain. Doing mental exercises can help keep your brain stimulated and active. Take up a new hobby like gardening or painting, read books, play chess, tackle a Rubik’s Cube, or try a new class that involves a skill you haven’t used in the past. Do crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, and word scrambles. Walgreens is a great resource for these items, enjoy the full benefit of your membership by linking your AARP membership card to your Walgreens Balance Rewards account, so you can stock up on these and other brain games!

  2. Create Lasting Memories. Staying socially engaged with your friends and family is not only great for staying in touch, but may also support brain health too. Create memories while doing so by pursuing social activities that are meaningful to you. Whether volunteering or joining a book club, get involved in an activity you can participate on a weekly or more frequent basis.

  3. Repeat What You Want to Remember. To help you remember something you've just heard, read, or thought about, repeat it out loud or write it down. For example, if your spouse told you to pick up milk on your way home from work, tell yourself out loud that you need to do that later.   

  4. Stay Positive and Believe in Yourself: People who believe they are in control of their memory function may have better brain health than those that do not. If you believe you can improve and take steps to keep yourself mentally active, you have a better chance of keeping your mind sharp. Positive emotions have a beneficial effect on your ability to process information and are linked to better brain health over the long term.  

 

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These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.

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