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The Aging Brain: 7 Ways to Boost Its Power

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Findings like these have led some experts to conclude that the brain at midlife — a stage increasingly defined as the years from 40 to 60 — is far more limber an organ than previously realized. It may even rival the young brain for qualities like temperament, comfort with ambiguity and the ability to interpret meanings.

That’s more support for our “with age comes wisdom” truism. It’s important to note, though, that the brain works a lot like a muscle. The more you use it, the healthier it becomes, say experts like Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD, author of The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain (Basic Books, 2005), and Sandra Cusak, PhD, and Wendy Thompson, MA, the authors of Mental Fitness for Life (Bull Publishing, 2006). Just as working out helps you stay in top physical shape, mental-fitness routines boost your brain’s power, strength and stamina.

Cusak and Thompson developed their seven-step Mental Fitness for Life course based on current research on cognitive function in the aging brain and their own research with the senior residents of Century House, a 2,100-member recreation center for seniors on the Canadian west coast. No matter your age, whether 33 or 103, insist Cusak and Thompson, by challenging your brain in this way, you can support deft and dexterous brain functioning for years to come.

Next: 7 Ways to Boost Your Brain As You Age

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2:19AM PST on Jan 21, 2015

Thank you.

4:25PM PST on Jan 20, 2015

I always tell my mom to be more creative, more active (both mentally and phisically), and to start learning foreign languages again.

12:16PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:02PM PST on Jan 4, 2013

Great post--thanks.

6:52PM PST on Nov 26, 2012


11:16AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Thank you

4:56AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Thanks for the article.

11:23PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Yep, I'm smarter than I ever was. Doctor told me when I got older I would have wisdom and I didn't have to do anything to get it. I'd just have it.

Two reasons, I didn't like that:

1. The implication! Was he calling me a dumb A--?

2. Was he depriving me of any participation in the coming one day wisdom? I want some credit!!!!

Be happy.

12:03PM PST on Nov 13, 2010


2:06PM PST on Feb 9, 2010

Each day we can become faster, stronger, smarter, and wiser.

Remember that as you sit down to decay.

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