11. Keep the mind engaged.
An enormous amount of data uncovered in the last two decades confirms that the brain retains its plasticity–that is, its ability to grow new neurons and the connections between them–throughout life. In addition, brain ailments commonly associated with getting older can also be diminished by keeping the brain stimulated. Dr. Yaakov Stern, Division Leader of the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Sergievsky Center at Columbia University indicates that “Individuals who lead mentally stimulating lives, through education, occupation, and leisure activities, have reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Studies suggest that they have 35 to 40% less risk of manifesting the disease.”