1. Save Energy
Organize your life so you’re using your brain’s energy for critical thinking, not trying to find your keys (or shoes or wallet) in the morning as you rush to the office. Put the mundane on auto-pilot so you can concentrate on what will demand more mental prowess.
2. Switch Hands
Using your non-dominant hand expands the neurological circuits connected to that hand, which can improve mental performance. If you’re right-handed, brush your teeth or jot down quick notes with your left. If you’re left-handed, stir a pot or wipe down the kitchen counter with your right. You can also try using chopsticks with both hands.
3. Choose Food Wisely
Eat more antioxidant-rich berries, dark leafy greens, nuts (full of vitamins and minerals) and fish; salmon, sardines, anchovies and lake trout in particular contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease cognitive weakening.
4. Work Out Regularly
Cardiovascular exercise pumps oxygen-rich blood to the brain, which gives it a boost of nutrients such as glucose. Working out also strengthens blood vessels and helps to avoid illnesses such as stroke, which affects cognition.
5. Keep Learning
Studies have shown that learning new things keeps thinking sharp and may ward off senility. Head to the library to find books on new subjects, check out the latest art exhibit at a museum or even pick up a musical instrument. Also consider investing in materials from a company such as The Great Courses, which offers college-level workbooks and lectures on different academic subjects from top professors.