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You’re a smart cookie, and you want to stay sharp forever. Weave these eight easy things into your routine to improve your memory every single day.

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Do a Crossword Puzzle

Preferably the smart, tough puzzles in The New York Times. Download the app and play on your phone, or print out the puzzles from the past seven days for free. Not only will doing the puzzles improve your knowledge of random trivia, but you’ll reactivate synapses in the brain as you try to recall old facts.


Get More Sleep

When you get a crummy night’s sleep, it’s nearly impossible to concentrate the next day. That’s because sleep and memory are connected in two crucial ways: First, you need adequate rest in order to learn and focus. Second, the brain consolidates and absorbs new information while you sleep. Oooh, we’re not setting our alarm this weekend.

RELATED: 27 Soothing Things to Do When You Just Can’t Fall Asleep


Eat More Produce

PSA: Fruits and veggies are some of the best memory and mental health boosters out there. According to a Harvard University study, berries are rich in anthocyanidins, a type of antioxidant that improves cognitive function and helps ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach slow cognitive decline, while avocados help increase blood flow to the brain.


Go For a Run (or Walk)

Regular aerobic exercise expands the hippocampus (the area of the brain involved in memory and learning). Studies show that even a brisk, 40-minute walk every other day will affect your overall brain health.

RELATED: What Might Happen If You Walk 30 Minutes a Day


Laugh As Much As Possible

Corny, we know, but a handful of studies like this one from Loma Linda University show that laughter really might be the best medicine. Laughing at a funny joke has been shown to increase short-term memory in adults. So surround yourself with hilarious people, watch that ridiculous cat video on YouTube and DVR the latest episode of SNL. It’s for your brain.


Drink Red Wine

While a whole bottle of vino could make things a little hazy, a glass a day has positive effects on the brain’s hippocampus. According to researchers at Texas A&M University, the antioxidant resveratrol (found in the skin of red grapes) may help fight age-related memory decline. At last, a perfect excuse for that nightcap. (Not that you needed one.) 

RELATED: Confirmed: 2 Glasses of Wine Before Bed Helps You Lose Weight


Have More Coffee

If you (like us) can’t start your day without a cup of joe, consider this your lucky day. Coffee consumption has a positive effect on long-term memory, according to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University. Subjects of the study also had greater short-term memory retention within 24 hours of consuming caffeine. Win-win.

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Take a Supplement

Now that you’re getting enough sleep and eating smart foods, it’s time to take vitamins to keep your brain firing on all cylinders. Vitamin B12 is found in milk and fish, but you can also take a daily supplement to help prevent dementia and memory loss in the future.

RELATED: The Best Vitamin For Keeping Your Mind Sharp as You Age

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