If you think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, think again. According to psychologist and health and wellness expert Dennis Kravetz, not only can you continue to learn as you age, but keeping your brain fit can help you live longer.
“People who are cognitively fit are less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s because they’re constantly helping the brain rewire itself,” said Kravetz, also the author of “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body: Live Long, Live Healthy.”
It was widely believed by people that if you lived to an excessively old age, like 100 or more, you would almost always have some cognitive decline, but this isn’t the case.
Kravetz said research done in the Netherlands on a woman who lived to be 115 showed no cognitive decline despite her age.
“She started getting regular memory tests at the age of 80 and she never deteriorated at all in 35 years,” he said. “She donated her body to medical science and they found no protein deposits in her brain, which is what develops when there is cognitive decline. We thought there was always some slight decline in cognitive function in the brain just from age, but that case rewrote the book and opened everyone’s eyes.”
Here are Kravetz’s tips to increase your cognitive fitness: