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Dementia describes a group of symptoms that affect social abilities and thinking. According to Mayo Clinic, the risk of developing dementia increases as you get older and especially after age 65. Many studies have found that staying physically, socially, and mentally active can reduce the risk of memory loss and other symptoms of these diseases.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, staying active keeps cognitive decline at bay by making the brain form new synapses. Synapses are connections between brain cells, and new ones are created whenever we learn new skills. Try some fun ways to build new synapses and keep your brain healthy.
Picking up new steps engages many different parts of the brain. It’s also a good way to get in some aerobic exercise.
Not only will you help a cause you support, but you'll also meet new people and learn new skills. Engaging with the community and trying something new may help prevent dementia.
Try working on different puzzles for a fun and challenging approach to prevention. You only form new synapses when you're doing an activity at which you're not already an expert. If you're a crossword expert, try Sudoku instead. If you play a lot of bridge, switch to hearts, spades, or poker.
Navigating an unfamiliar city and visiting new places are great ways to build synapses.
Gaining new language skills is one of the most effective ways to build new synapses between brain cells.
Recent studies have shown that people who read regularly are less likely to suffer mental problems as they get older. Your reading material doesn’t have to be Proust, either. Reading newspapers and magazines can also help keep your mind sharp.
Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed on: Sep 03, 2014: Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, MBA
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