Habits Your 80-Year-Old Brain Will Thank You For

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Prevent those senior moments from plaguing your senior years. Here’s what you can do to keep your mental skills sharp as you age.

How do you keep your brain young?

Smiling modern older woman sitting at cafe with tabletmimagephotography/Shutterstock
A rich new area of science is analyzing which healthy habits best keep your mind and memory healthy in the 40s and beyond. Kenneth S. Kosik, MD, co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has studied which habits most powerfully boost our cognitive function. Here he shares the most up-to-date research from innovative labs plus the best brain-boosting tips from his book Outsmarting Alzheimer’s. These are daily habits of people with impressive memory.

Play games with your frontal lobe

Hand of businessman playing chessFabrikaSimf/Shutterstock
Whether you’re deliberating a chess move or bluffing at cards, you’re also giving the frontal lobe, the area of your brain that handles executive function, a workout. “The frontal lobe is particularly vulnerable to degeneration and the effects of aging,” says Dr. Kosik. According to a 2014 University of Wisconsin study, older adults who routinely worked on puzzles and played board games had higher brain volume in the area responsible for cognitive functions, including memory, than those who didn’t play games. These weird brain exercises can help you get smarter.

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