Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Brain Young

February 28, 2012

It’s time for another edition of Ted Talk Time. This week’s edition highlights Social Entrepreneur Elizabeth Amini and summarizes 10 research-based things you can do to help keep your brain young and stave off Alzheimer”s disease and other forms of dementia. The video is only 15 minutes, so I hope you’ll take the time to view it (click here to view), but just in case you don’t, here is the list of the things she recommends.

Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Brain Young


1.   Fast walking (30 minutes most days)

2.   Teach your brain new tricks, like learning chess or  a musical instrument (Don’t worry about being good at it–it’s the activity that matters.)

3.   Avoid poisons (Smoking in mid-life may double the chance of dementia and don’t forget to check the ingredients of your cleaning products and cosmetics.)

4.   Be social (Find time to be with friends or volunteer. Isolation is proven to be very detrimental.)

5.   Have a strong purpose/life direction (People with a clear sense of  identity and who work on issues larger than themselves are 2.4 times less likely to get dementia)

6.   Relax (yoga, readying, etc.) and get enough sleep (7-8 hours a night for most people) because stress is proven to shrink the brain

7.   Partner with a doctor who is prevention-oriented (who doesn’t just treat symptoms–who looks at the whole you, including your lifestyle, nutrition habits, etc.)

8.   Protect your head (People who suffer head injuries are much more likely to suffer cognitive loss as they age, so wear a helmet when biking, etc.)

9.   Eat a Mediterranean diet (Colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes, fish, nuts, olive oil)

10.  Be positive (A positive attitude matters more than you think–it has a neural-protective effect–so eliminate negative self-talk as much as possible.)

I’m working on incorporating these into my daily life, what about you?

Photo courtesy of:  Enokson

  • Ursula

    I think these are great tips, esp the prevention oriented physician. Doctors who practice in this model are more likely to be collaborative with you and help you achieve your goals.

    Recently I’ve been learning more card games with friends for social events and I have to say, it’s a fun challenge to stretch into this mode. I’m glad to hear it will help keep the old noggin working right.

    • Cheryl Craigie

      Hi Ursula–

      Glad to hear you’re doing so many of these tips already. Keep up the good work and don’t forget to floss, as scientists believe that poor dental hygiene can be a source of inflammation, which may cause damage in the brain, increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

      Take care of yourself,


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