The most effective plan to increase your cognitive reserve is to stimulate your brain in several ways. The brain wants to learn new things. Some researchers believe that people are more vulnerable to dementia when the brain is passive. The brain has a tendency to atrophy if it is not used. For this reason, sedentary and relatively passive activities, like sitting in front of a TV for hours a day, can be detrimental to brain health over time.
Exercises to strengthen brain function should offer novelty, present challenge, and use creativity. Drive home via a different route; brush your teeth with your opposite hand; read a variety of material including comic strips, novels, and the news paper.
Don’t be isolated. Get involved in groups or social organizations, and participate in stimulating conversation that strengthens family and friendships.
Participate in regular physical activities. Walk, ride a bicycle, dance, do aerobic exercises. Challenge your brain by challenging your body.
Learn something new. Take a class in something that interests you, read and write every day, learn a second language, learn sign language, learn to play a musical instrument.
Play board games or brain exercise-based video games, do crossword puzzles or challenging word and number games.
Stimulate the senses: travel, learn to relax with music, meditate, do yoga or tai chi, etc.
Increase your intake of vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables, decrease your intake of processed food and fast foods; make it a priority to sit-down with others for at least one meal a day.
Get enough sleep. A well-rested brain is a healthy brain.