Move Your Body

Some experts say that physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain

"Physical exercise has the best evidence for preserving memory and mental function with aging," says R. Scott Turner, director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center.

According to a study, a group of 30,000 middle-aged people were studied over a 10-year period. Those who were fit throughout the study period proved to be almost 50% less likely to develop dementia than those who were less fit. Furthermore, those who had entered middle age out of shape but then gained fitness showed the same reduction in their risk for dementia.

Get Social

What do mice and people have in common? They’re both social creatures—and research suggests that being social may help prevent memory loss

A recent study suggests that sociability may be tied to better memory. Researchers housed aging mice either in a group or a pair. This strategy allowed them to study whether differences in memory and learning might be attributed to social connectivity.

The research suggested that housing mice in larger groups led to improved memory compared to housing in pairs. Researchers concluded that this was due to the fact that their hippocampus—the part of the brain that aids with memory—was more active in social groups. 

Explore New Hobbies

Not only can mentally challenging activities be fun, but they may help with mental cognition. According to the Mayo Clinic, activities such as crossword puzzles, playing bridge or reading may help keep your brain sharp. 

A 2013 study found that older adults who learned quilting or digital photography had more memory improvement than those who only socialized or did less cognitively demanding activities. Additionally, research suggests participating in musical activities may improve memory help seniors.

Eat Less Sugar

We all have cravings for something sweet, but recent studies suggest that sugar intake and memory loss may be linked. In one study, the Boston University School of Medicine followed more than 4,200 people, periodically testing them for memory and cognition, and scanning their brains with an MRI. Participants logged their food intake, which included sugary drink consumption. 

The results of the study suggest that people who consumed more sugary drinks had poorer memory and reduced overall brain volume compared to people who didn’t drink sugary drinks.

Results indicated that two sugary drinks per day was associated with 1.6 years of brain aging; more than two drinks per day were associated with two extra years of aging. 

So, the next time you go to grab a Coca-Cola, opt for water. It may help both your body and brain be healthy. 

Some degree of memory problems is a fairly common and normal part of the aging process. If you or a family member want to learn more about dementia, find out how dementia care at Brookdale is different

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or fitness program or acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

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