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Tips to Keep your Brain Sharp

Feeling forgetful? Celebrated on July 22, World Brain Day is a great time to learn new ways to sharpen your cognitive skills. Follow these eight tips to preserve your mental abilities as you age:

  1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is crucial for brain health and cognitive function.
  2. Exercise regularly. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, promoting the growth of new neurons and improving cognitive abilities.
  3. Eat a brain-healthy diet. Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins.
  4. Challenge your brain by learning activities that require mental effort. We suggest puzzles, reading, learning a new language or playing a musical instrument.
  5. Stay social. Interacting with others stimulates brain activity and can help prevent cognitive decline. Join clubs, volunteer or schedule lunch dates with family and friends.
  6. Manage your stress. Long-term stress can negatively impact your brain function. Try deep breathing or engage in hobbies you enjoy.
  7. Limit alcohol. Excessive alcohol use is a risk factor for dementia.
  8. Manage your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your primary care provider can let you know whether your levels are in a healthy range, as well as what steps you can take to improve them.