It's natural to be more forgetful as you age. One in nine people 45 or older say they've had memory loss or confusion. But there are easy ways to help keep your mind sharp. Try these healthy habits for your brain.
Exercise your brain
Keeping your mind active is a big way to help it stay healthy. These activities can even help make new brain cells:
- Crossword puzzles
- Online brain games
Learning a new skill feeds your brain. Your local colleges may have discounted classes. There are also a lot of online classes. Try learning:
- A musical instrument
- A new language
- New computer skills
- Wood carving
Get enough sleep
While you sleep, your brain has a chance to relax. It also cleans itself. Getting enough sleep helps your memory stay sharp. It's best to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Healthy foods are good for your brain. Brain-boosting foods also taste great. Add these to your meals:
Keep your body moving
Even a little can do a lot for your brain. Try some of these:
- Garden or do yard work
- Join a club for bowling or bocce
- Take a class: swimming, dance, yoga or tai chi
- Walk or ride a bike
Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start.
Being social is good for brain health. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Make a date with friends and family. You could:
- Host a potluck
- Plan a movie night
- Play cards or other games
Pick a new hobby, and join a group. Examples:
Be a do-gooder. It’s great for body and soul. Volunteer at your:
- Community garden or park
- Local animal shelter
- Place of worship
And don’t forget all the readymade social activities at your local community center.
Having problems with memory loss?
Talk to your doctor.
- National Institute on Aging. Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Accessed March 18, 2022.
- National Institute on Aging. Alzheimer’s disease fact sheet. Accessed March 18, 2022.
- National Institute on Aging. Participating in activities you enjoy. Published October 23, 2017. Accessed March 18, 2022.
- National Institute on Aging. Safety tips for exercising outdoors for older adults. Accessed March 22, 2022.
- National Institutes of Health. Brain may flush out toxins during sleep. Accessed March 22, 2022.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.