President Joe Biden’s fitness for office was again called into question after a Special Counsel report that described him as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”
Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images
Biden’s fitness for office is being questioned after a Special Counsel report called his memory “hazy.”The 81-year-old has long faced criticism for his age and judgment about his mental acuity.Here are five expert tips for keeping your mind sharp into your 80s and beyond.
President Joe Biden’s fitness for office is once again being questioned after a Special Counsel report — compiled over a year while investigating his handling of classified documents — described the 81-year-old as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”
With the President’s cognitive capabilities making headlines again, here are five top tips from experts to keep your brain sharp for when you get to be Biden’s age.
Live like you’re in a Blue Zone
Blue Zones are home to some of the oldest and healthiest people in the world. In particular, the Greek island of Ikaria, located in the Aegean Sea, is known as the island of longevity, where residents routinely live well into their 90s, with low rates of dementia and other chronic diseases.
Instead of hardcore workouts and diet supplements, these Blue Zone residents take regular naps, socialize often, and incorporate moderate activity throughout their day with activities like gardening and long walks instead of driving to complete daily chores.
Manage your diet and exercise
Speaking of exercise, just one minute of squats can help keep your brain healthy, boosting your concentration and decision-making, Business Insider previously reported. Short bursts of physical activity — some studies suggest just 11 minutes per day — are linked to better blood flow to the brain and reduce your risk of early death.
But your diet matters, too. One popular choice, especially among Blue Zone residents, is the Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting the consumption of meat, processed foods, and refined sugar.
Take a probiotic with herbal tea
Recent research suggests taking a probiotic supplement can slow down cognitive decline as we age and help people of all ages perform better when stressed.
Pair that with a daily serving of herbal tea, which residents of Ikaria drink often, or green tea, which improves brain function by strengthening working memory and attention, and you’ve got a combination that may keep you sharp for decades. A 2019 study concluded that tea drinkers have higher cognitive functions and better-organized brain regions when compared to non-tea drinkers.
Brain health isn’t limited to the choices we make individually. According to experts, one key component to keeping your mind healthy is ensuring you get enough social stimulation as well.
“In general, people with strong social networks tend to live longer,” Talia Lerner, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Northwestern University, previously told BI. “Spending time with other people is good for your emotional life, which is good for brain health.”
Keep trying new things
While the challenges you take on might not be leading a country through a pandemic, international war, or crushing economic woes, trying new things like attempting a difficult puzzle you haven’t tried before or meeting new people in different social situations can improve neural plasticity and strengthen your brain.
“I think a lot of us get into routines and habits where we’re doing the same old thing each day,” Jason Shepherd, an associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Utah, previously told BI. “But learning new things helps with brain plasticity, and if you are able to keep using your brain in new ways, you can have better mental outcomes as you age.”