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Tips on keeping your brain sharp and active

Keeping your brain sharp and active is so important as you grow older. As people age, their cognitive abilities decline with age. But there are ways to keep the brain sharp. By engaging in mind based activities, we can all improve memory, focus, and overall cognitive function.

There are many different ways to keep your brain active, such as learning new skills, playing brain games, and engaging in physical activity. Trying lots of different brain activities means it works in different ways, using different parts, and this can only be beneficial.

Learning a new skill helps stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function. 

Brain games can help improve memory and focus. 

Physical activity helps cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Here’s different methods and activities that you can try to keep your brain active.

tips to keep your brain sharp

Tips on keeping your brain sharp

1. Brain Games

These are a fun and effective way to stimulate your brain. They help improve memory, attention, and problem-solving skills, which you can see as you practice and speed up or complete puzzles more frequently. Not forgetting it challenges us. Some popular brain games include:

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Sudoku
  • Wordsearches
  • Wordle (quordle, duotriquordle and other variations)
  • Brain teasers
  • Quizzes

2. Learning a new skill or work on existing ones

Learning a new skill can help improve memory, attention, and cognitive flexibility. Learning a new skill can also be a fun and rewarding experience. It can help boost confidence and provide a sense of accomplishment Examples of new skills to learn include

  • A new language (Duolingo is free to use! Pick any language on there. I’m loving Spanish and I’m 123 days in)
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Cooking – try new techniques, new recipes, or even do a course.
  • Painting or drawing
  • Knitting or crochet, especially from a pattern
  • Learn lyrics to new songs

3. Physical activity

Physical activity is beneficial in so many ways, but it also gets the blood pumping round the body which helps the brain. If you’re playing competitive sport there’s also the benefit of tactics, strategy and working as a team. All involve using your brain, as well as the unpredictability of sport making your brain keep on its toes.

Dance in particular has been proven to be good for the brain. Not only is it feel good, but it helps with memory and other cognitive functions.

4. Quality sleep

Getting enough quality sleep is essential to keep your brain active and healthy. Sleep plays a crucial role in removing toxins from the brain that build up while you are awake.

5. Social interaction

Social interaction is an essential aspect of keeping the brain active and healthy. Research shows that socializing can stimulate attention and memory, and help to strengthen neural networks. Engaging in social activities can also reduce stress and improve overall well-being. So there’s no excuse to not meet up with friends and family more frequently.

Alternatively, if you’re learning something new, try learning in a group so you’ll get in new activities as well as social occasions.

Socialising doesn’t have to be face to face all the time (although that is the most beneficial for brain health), especially now there’s technology in abundance to keep us all connected.

girl sitting meditating back to the camera, outside with sun streaming through leaves

6. Reduce stress

Stress is a common problem that can affect your brain.  It can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Therefore, it is important to manage stress to keep your brain active and healthy. There are many different methods to reduce stress alongside exercise, quality sleep, seeing friends etc.


Regular meditation can help to reduce anxiety and depression, improve memory and concentration, and increase emotional well-being. Meditation doesn’t need anything complicated, you just need a quiet place where you can sit comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Clear your mind of any thoughts and just focus on your breathing. Start with a few minutes a day and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. You can learn the technique through apps like Headspace.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Research has shown that deep breathing exercises can help to reduce anxiety and depression, improve memory and concentration, and increase emotional well-being. Again apps can help different methods of these exercises.

7. Healthy Diet

A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods can provide the necessary nutrients your brain needs to stay healthy. In particular, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants are known to be beneficial for brain health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through diet (e.g fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are excellent sources of omega-3s. Other sources include flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts).


Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables, can help protect the brain from damage. Foods high in vitamin E, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and avocados, have also been shown to improve cognitive function in older adults.

What type of activities or actions do you do or take to keep your brain sharp?

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