Health & wellness

How to help your brain as you age

Here are some tips for staying mentally fit:

Get plenty of exercise. Regular exercise can counter effects of aging on the brain.

Advertisement

Get adequate sleep. Poor quality or too little sleep can cause fuzzy thinking.

Avoid cigarettes. Smoking can damage the heart and affect blood flow to the brain.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Don't overdo alcohol. Drinking can affect memory.

Eat colorful produce. Chemicals called flavonoids, which give fruits and vegetables their color, have been associated with improved brain function.

Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.

Get organized. Take notes, repeat names, and pay attention to important information.

Advertisement

Don't panic. A little forgetfulness in middle age is not a sign that you will develop Alzheimer's.

Calm down. Stress can impair brain function. Yoga, meditation, and other calming activities can help.

Check medications. Some medicines for depression, anxiety, blood pressure, and heart disease can affect memory; most of these have alternatives that don't.

Take care of mental health. Treatment for depression, severe grief, and other mood disorders can restore memory.

Minimize multitasking. Midlife may be a good moment to admit that you can't really do more than one thing at a time.

K.W.

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com