Keeping our brains young

I truly admire people who remember faces, names, birthdays, and especially your last conversation with them. “How was your niece’s grad?” a friend said to me recently. Wow, I don’t even recall telling her about my plans to attend, and here she was—days, even weeks later—asking me about the event! Impressive.

If I’m having trouble remembering things like this in my 40s, I certainly have some work to do to catch up with others my age and to offset the memory challenges that go hand-in-hand with getting older.

Thankfully, there are lots of things we can do to keep our brains sharp and working well throughout our life … what some researchers call “cognitive vitality.”

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain. Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night can help with concentration and memory. Using our brain by playing cards or a musical instrument, reading, or taking a class can make it work better. And eating a diet low in saturated fat, rich in fruits and veggies, and high in omega-3 fatty acids feeds our brain in good ways. (I knew there was more to salmon and tuna than just great taste!)

Click here for more details and other tools and tips for keeping our brains young.

I guess the next time I forget something, I’ll have to do an honest assessment of whether I’m doing everything I can for my cognitive vitality.