You’ve probably seen this happen. Among your older friends, some grow more forgetful and confused… while a few seem to stay as sharp and clear in their 90’s as they were in their 20’s.
And if you’re middle aged or older, you’ve probably wondered, “How can I be one of the lucky few who stay sharp all my life?”
Well, some folks may be lucky, but research is showing that luck – and even good genes – are only a small part of the puzzle.
There’s a lot you can do to help keep your mind and memory sharp as you get older. Today, we’ll look at five easy ways to help you hold on to your memories and clear thinking for years to come.
A team from the University of California (UC) wondered why some people stay sharp and others don’t. So they designed an experiment to see if they could figure it out. And they identified several factors that make a difference.
And here’s what’s important: You can control these factors. While none of them guarantee you’ll keep a sharper mind and memory, any one of them can improve your chances of staying sharp by up to 500%.
The team followed 2,500 people in their 70’s for 8 years. 53% showed a “normal” decline in brainpower. 16% had severe declines. But 30% of their volunteers held on to their mental edge – or even improved – during the study. Here’s what made the difference…
- Don’t smoke. If you don’t smoke, you’ve already improved your chances of staying sharp. If you do smoke, here’s another good reason to quit: The UC team found that non-smokers are twice as likely to stay mentally sharp.
- Get moving. People who exercise moderately just once a week cut their risk of mental decline by 30%.
- Get involved. In this study, people who volunteered regularly had a 24% better chance of holding on to their brainpower.
- Take an adult literacy class. People in this study with 9th-grade literacy skills were 500% more likely to keep their mental edge. This is a biggie… because 1 in 5 U.S. adults can’t read above a 5th grade level.
Researchers at Concordia University recently uncovered two more factors for holding on to your brainpower.
First, find mental activities you enjoy. People who challenge their brains in ways they enjoy, get a bigger benefit.2 If you hate chess, but love jigsaw puzzles, do the puzzles. You’ll have more fun… and probably get more out of the activity.
Second, mix it up. Doing a variety of exercises builds a stronger body. And doing a variety of mental tasks builds a stronger brain.
So engage your mind in different ways. Keep doing your jigsaw puzzles, but take on other challenges, too. Maybe try a French cooking class… visit your local science museum… or take up birding. Just keep the challenges coming.
Finally, a bonus idea: For an extra brainpower boost, nutritional supplements – such as B vitamins and Lion’s Mane mushroom – can provide a little extra insurance for a sharp mind and memory.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 “Staying Sharp: New Study Uncovers How People Maintain Cognitive Function In Old Age,” ScienceDaily. Jun 12, 2009.
2 “Motivation Key Factor in Preserving Brainpower Later in Life, Concordia University Researchers Show,” Concordia University. Oct 1, 2013.
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