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How to stay mentally fit

Brain drain

Relying on tech to “do it for you” can make us mentally lazy. 

Research by University College London into the brains of trainee taxi drivers showed that those who had passed the famous “Knowledge” test to learn routes across the city’s 25,000 streets and thousands of places of interest had a greater volume of grey matter in their posterior hippocampus — the nerve cells in the brain where processing takes place — than when they started.

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How to stay mentally fit

How to stay mentally fit

https://www.ft.com/content/50b6eb46-576c-11e8-806a-808d194ffb75

ft.com

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Key Ideas

Learning a new language

Speaking more than two languages has a protective effect on memory in seniors who practice foreign languages over their lifetime or at the time of the study.

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Invest in your emotional health

Staying mentally and emotionally healthy helps us face challenges, stresses, and setbacks. It also equips us to be more functional in our daily lives. 

A person who is mentally and emoti...

Take care of your physical health

Physical health plays an important role in ensuring that you are mentally healthy. 

You can stay healthy by eating well, getting adequate rest and exercise, and actively taking care of your physical health. 

Exercise and get some fresh air

Daily exposure to sunlight helps avoid depression.

Physical activity is also beneficial for the mind. Exercise boosts energy, reduces stress and mental fatigue. 

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Never stop learning

Research shows that people with more education have a greater cognitive reserve and this works as a protection in the face of mental decline.

But there's a twist to it: educated people t...

Crosswords

Cognitive activities like crossword puzzles, reading or playing music may delay memory decline among people who eventually developed dementia.

Stereotype threat

It happens when a person is in a situation where they are anxious that they may conform to a negative stereotype aimed at his or her social group.

Positive stereotypes, or success on previous memory tasks, can help combat this negativity. 

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Being overweight affects the brain

A diet high in saturated fats and sugars affects your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. It also affects the parts of the brain that are important to memory.

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Memory problems

Obese people find it more difficult to pick apart spatial, item, and temporal memory, as well as the ability to integrate them.

If you're obese, you might be up to 20 percent more likely not to remember where you put your keys.

Changing eating habits

The diet of obese people degrades their memory and makes them more likely to overeat, a study revealed.

Making a meal more memorable may help to eat less bad stuff. If you watch TV while you eat, you'll eat more than planned.