Just like any other part of your body, your brain needs daily exercise. Ignore yours Mental health It makes you vulnerable to degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia Dementia.

as a NeuroscientistI have spent decades managing patients with memory problems Practices and practices that improve the mind – I practice many of them.

Here are seven mental rules I follow to keep my memory sharp.

1. Choose fiction when you can.

You can learn a lot from non-fiction works, but they are often organized in a way that allows you to jump in based on personal interests and previous unfamiliarity with the subject.

A novel, on the other hand, requires you to exercise your memory as you proceed from beginning to end and capture various details, characters, and plots.

Incidentally, I have noticed in my years as a neuropsychiatrist that people with early dementia, as the first signs of abuse, often stop reading fiction.

2. Never leave an art museum without testing your memory.

“Western Motel” by Edward Hopper, 1957. Oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 50 1/8 inches (77.8 x 128.3 cm). Located in the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

Good art Getty

It is my favorite painting to do visual exercises. “Western Motel” by Edward Hopper. It shows a woman sitting in a motel bed in the sunlight.

Start by studying the list carefully until you see it in your mind. Then describe the picture as you look away.

Example: Olivia de Rekat for CNBC

Did you include the small clock on the bedside table? A lantern? The dress on the chair at the bottom right of the picture? Can you remember the colors and composition of the room?

You can do this with any artwork to boost your memory.

3. Get less than 90 minutes of sleep.

A nap lasting from 30 minutes to an hour and a half between 1:00 am and 4:00 pm was observed. It shows that it is increasing Later, before going to bed, remember the recorded information.

Many studies They found that insomnia can compensate for a poor night’s sleep. If you struggle with insomnia, you can sleep in the middle of the afternoon Improve memory.

Over the years, I’ve trained myself to nap for about half an hour. Some people I know have learned to fall asleep for only 15 minutes, and then wake up and wake up again.

4. No party is complete without mind games.

My favorite activity is “20 questions”, when one person (the questioner) leaves the room and the rest of the players choose a person, place or thing. The interviewer can ask up to 20 questions to guess what the group decided.

Success depends on the questioner clearly remembering all the answers and mentally eliminating possible choices based on the answers.

Bridge and chess are great for practicing your memory: to do well you have to review past games, as well as consider the future consequences of your decisions in the past and present.

5. Eat brain foods.

Dr. Uma NaidooA nutritional psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, B Brain foods:

  • b: Berries and beans
  • R: Rainbow colors of fruits and vegetables
  • AAntioxidants
  • noInclude lean proteins and plant-based proteins
  • N: Nuts
  • F: Fiber-rich foods and fermented foods
  • ohOil
  • ohOmega rich foods
  • D: Dairy products
  • S: Spices

And good news for chocoholics (like me): a 2020 study They found that cocoa flavonoids found in dark chocolate improved associative memory in healthy adults.

6. Use pictures for things that are hard to remember.

My husband’s dog, Leah Schipperke (pronounced “SKIP-er-kee”). It’s a unique name, but I have a hard time remembering it. So to finally answer “What species?” At the dog park, I created an image of a small boat (a small dog) holding a large key.

Get in the habit of turning anything you find hard to remember into a wild, strange, or other interesting image.

7. Don’t sit on the couch all day.

A recent study Among 82,872 volunteers, participants aged 80 and older who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity had a lower risk of developing dementia compared to inactive adults aged 50 to 69.

It even changed from being sedentary (sitting too long, the “never walk when you can drive” attitude), to being active (standing, climbing stairs, walking a mile every day).

Homework is also done Associated with high concentration and memory effects and better sensory and motor functions in adults.

Dr. Richard Restak, MD, neuroscientist and author of 20 books on the human brain, incl “The Complete Guide to Memory: The Science of Strengthening Your Brain.” And “Think Smarter: A Neuroscientist’s Prescription for Improving Your Brain’s Performance.” He is currently a clinical professor of neurology at the George Washington Hospital University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In the year In 1992, Dr. Restak was the recipient of the Chicago Neurosurgical Center’s “Mind of the Decade Award.”

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