Whether it's becoming a Sudoku champion or remembering the name of someone you just met, everyone probably wishes they could muster up a little extra brain power. There are no quick fixes when it comes to improving (or preventing the decline of) cognitive functions like memory, info processing, or critical thinking, but there are some very basic steps you can take to keep your brain as healthy as possible.
"A lot of things that should be recommended for reducing dementia are actually just common sense and work for general health too," says Dr. Joe Verghese, professor of neurology and medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The challenge is getting people to do it." Eating right, exercising, and staying mentally active top the list of brain-health boosters, but they aren't the only options.
7. Don't Multitask
Many of us may prize ourselves on our multitasking prowess, but science generally shows that splitting our attention is more problematic than productive. One study looking at working memory – quick storage of information – had younger and older adults perform recognition tests with or without interruptions. They found that adults of all ages get sidetracked by interferences but that older adults have a harder time refocusing after they've been distracted.
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