Forgot where you put your keys? Experts say 80 percent of us have “senior moments” after age 50. Not to worry: These brain blips are normal and don’t signify anything about your future brain health — but that doesn’t mean they’re not frustrating! Try these tips to boost your memory and keep your mind in tip-top shape.
Enjoying just 10 minutes a day of games like Words with Friends or the Woman’s World crossword with other folks online erases more than five years off your “brain age,” suggests new NYU research. Playing games forces a complex network of brain cells to work together, giving your thinking skills a workout. Meanwhile, research in the journal JAMA suggests that interacting with others online creates new neural connections that literally rewind the age of your brain.
Whistle while you work.
Do you find that you sometimes walk into a room and forget why? Whistle along to your favorite throwback tunes as you putter around the house, suggests a Boston University School of Medicine study, and you’ll erase more than a year of the type of brain aging that triggers forgetfulness.
In addition, University of Pennsylvania investigators say “bundling” a fun treat with easy moves, like folding the laundry or grabbing the mail, makes it 51 percent more likely you’ll clock the nine minutes per day of light physical activity proven to keep your brain strong. What’s more, nostalgic music has been shown to engage parts of the brain that enhance neural connections.
Scoop up seven-layer dip.
The classic Super Bowl party appetizer is one of the best foods for quick thinking, suggests Rush Institute for Healthy Aging research. Credit goes to the flavonoids abundant in the appetizer’s combo of salsa, jalapeños and guacamole. The potent compounds work together to shield cells against oxidative stress and inflammation, keeping neural connections strong and slowing brain aging by 48 percent.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.