6 Ways To Keep Your Brain Sharp

Your body isn’t the only thing that needs exercise.

By Luke QuintonMay 25, 2015 9:09 am|

Read the full story over at UT News

How do we keep from losing our memories? Especially as we get older? Dan Johnston Directs the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Learning and Memory, and he’s come up with six tips for helping us stay on top of things.

Tip #1 Aerobic Exercise.

All kinds of studies say that aerobic exercise improves memory, counters depression, and improves overall brain health. It also stimulates the growth of new neurons. That means, it helps us create new memories. It doesn’t have to be excessive exercise, twenty minutes a day will do it. Get a dog! People with dogs have a built-in exercise machine. 

Tip #2 Mind Exercise; Challenge Your Brain

Think Crossword puzzles will help? Dr. Johnston says “that’s really of little benefit. You need to challenge your mind.” Learn a new language, write essays, poetry … whatever you find that is challenging for your mind, is good for your brain health. 

Tip #3 Drink Coffee. Caffeinated Coffee.

Good news, coffee drinkers: Caffeine may even stave off dementia. It’s the only drug that has consistently shown benefits for attention, memory, and learning. But easy there: 2-3 cups a day will do the trick. 

Tip #4 Sleep

The brain is a forgetting machine. We forget far more than we actually remember. But that’s a good thing! We don’t want to remember everything. We only want to remember the important events. And sleep is extremely important for that. 

Tip #5 Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet. (Avoid Junk Food!)

This is good for your brain and your body. It also helps keep weight off. Excessive weight robs the brain of blood flow. Yikes. 

Tip #6 Be Social … Interact with Your Friends and Peers

People are social beings. We need to interact socially. It’s very mentally stimulating and it helps focus our attention. The lack of attention is actually a big problem in forgetting things. Forget where you last put your keys? No, your memory’s probably not going. You just didn’t pay attention to where you last put those keys.