Exercise keeps the brain young just as working out keeps the body in shape. Indeed, aging itself is not the main reason for dementia, and memory training boosts brain cell activities and improves brain function.
The left brain is usually in charge of language and arithmetic, and memorizing a few sentences in a foreign language each day helps to stimulate it.
Memorizing and reciting one-time PIN numbers can also help keep the brain stimulated now that nobody dials phone numbers any more. Reading books, newspapers or even magazines and summarizing pieces orally is another way to keep the brain active. Also useful is writing a diary at the end of the day or week to recap what you have done or experienced.
For the right brain, the best exercise is creative activities such as drawing, coloring and handicrafts. One great way of using both sides is to sing a song from memory. Memorizing lyrics activates the left brain and singing the tune the right. Going to singing class or choir practice can also help the brain stay healthy.
Another way to stimulate the brain is to work with your hands, because even though they take up only a small part of body mass they take up 30 percent of the cerebral cortex to control.
Knitting or playing a musical instrument helps improve dexterity as well as increase brain activity. Doing puzzles and memorizing names and faces of new people you meet are all helpful.
It is important to keep meeting people and communicating with them into old age to keep the whole of the brain stimulated. When people have a conversation, they increase their resistance to decreasing brain function.
People who live alone are 1.5 times more likely to get dementia than those who do not, and meeting people every day decreases the chances of dementia by 40 percent, according to some studies.
Having a diverse network of people in a community through volunteer groups or other regular gatherings like church helps the brain and the nerve system stay healthy. Outings also help, like going to the cinema, on a trip, or eating out with others.