1. Physical activity
(Jeannette Meier Kamer/iStockphoto)
Research from the University of Illinois has suggested that regular aerobic activity—like running, walking, or bicycling, which require oxygen to produce energy—may do a better job of protecting brain function than nonaerobic activity, which does not recruit oxygen and uses short bursts of motion (golf, tennis, and lifting weights). Reaping the cognitive benefits of pumping oxygen- and sugar-rich blood to the brain won't require high intensity exercise, says William Thies, chief medical and scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association. The Alzheimer's Association advises picking activities you like and doing them regularly for at least 30 minutes a day.