Greensboro, NC -- Just because you haven't been in a classroom doesn't mean you mentally check out!
We all need to keep learning to keep our minds sharp.
A study released this summer in the journal of Neurology confirms more frequent cognitive activity over your entire life can slow cognitive decline later in life.
When it comes to staying sharp you might think of doing puzzles and word games. And while educational play is good, it isn't the only mind sharpening tool.
UCLA Researchers found healthy eating, not smoking and exercising regularly all linked to better self-perceived memory abilities. So all those things you'd do to stay healthy, physically, also apply to keeping your brain healthy.
Baylor University researchers also found meeting new people or volunteering and reducing stress can keep your brain sharp. As you age games and tricks can also help you keep your mind in tip-top shape.
Experts say the key is challenging yourself with small changes.
Things like eating with your "wrong" hand... hanging a familiar picture upside down or wearing your watch on the opposite arm can help reduce memory loss. And yes, those crosswords, math puzzles and new skills like painting or learning to play an instrument can stretch your mind.
Now for those games.We downloaded the Lumosity app. Whether you get the app or simply go on the website, you're asked what areas of your memory you want to train and it creates a program for you. They have a daily workout and games.
We played one of the games during our 2WTK newscast.