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Mind Matters

5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Forgetting names, forgetting items on your grocery list, forgetting (gasp!) your BFF's birthday happens to all of us at some point. Still, it doesn't hurt to give your brain a little kick in the pants with these easy tips. —Glo

By Woman's Day

Research shows there's lots you can do to avoid those “senior moments.” Some techniques worth trying:

1. Chill Out

The brain remembers better when it's relaxed, say researchers at the California Institute of Technology. Take a few minutes each day to breathe deeply or meditate.

2. Focus on the Future

People who regularly made plans and looked forward to upcoming events had a 50 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer's, according to a recent study. Don't worry if your calendar isn't overflowing with life-changing events: Setting a goal to have a weekly coffee date with a friend (and keeping it) will do.

3. Go for a Walk

Mildly elevated glucose levels (even if you don't have diabetes) can harm the area of the brain that helps you form memories, say Columbia University researchers. Experts agree that physical activity can help get blood glucose down to normal.

4. Snack on Berries

Blueberries have compounds called anthocyanins that help communication between brain cells and appear to improve memory, says Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati.

5. Learn Something New

Take a Spanish class online, join a knitting club or learn to play poker. A UC Irvine study found that mental stimulation limits the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind.

ON WOMAN'S DAY:

Quiz: Test Your Brain Health Knowledge

10 Brain-Boosting Habits

10 Things You Can Change Right Now

  • Eat brain-boosting foods like blueberries to keep your mind super-sharp.

    Matt Armendariz
Mind Matters
5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp
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