Four steps—following a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, socializing, and challenging your brain—can improve your mental skills, even as you age.
Observational studies over the past few years seem to be repeating the same message: regular physical activity, a good diet, taking on new mental challenges, and maintaining strong social connections may each help you hang on to your mind. The latest and most impressive study goes a step further by suggesting that if you follow all four practices, you may even reverse lost mental capacity. The results of the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) indicated that doing so not only kept cognitive skills from declining, it also improved reasoning skills and speed in performing mental tasks.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.