Draw a map
Research shows that building a mental map is a serious brain-booster. Cab drivers in London, for example, are required to memorise 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks in order to qualify for a licence. But new geography skills aren’t the only perk; neurologists at the University of London found that these cabbies have significantly larger hippocampi, or regions of the brain that store and organise memories.
Memory exercise: draw a map – of your neighbourhood, your commute, or another familiar area – completely from memory. Then, repeat this exercise each time you visit a new place or take a different route home.
Forget fancy computer games; paper and pen is the tried-and-true method for improving your memory, experts say.
Memory exercise: try making and memorising a list of grocery items, tasks to complete, etc. Then, see how many items you can recall after one or two hours. The longer (and more complicated) the list, the tougher the workout for your brain.
Practise simple maths problems
Did you think you could bid maths farewell after graduating high school? Think again. According to experts, an addition or subtraction problem a day can keep cognitive decline away.
Memory exercise: solve a few simple maths problems in your head each morning – no pencil, paper, or calculator allowed. To up the ante, try to walk or cook at the same time.