Feeling forgetful? As we grow older and older, we all start to notice some changes in our ability to remember things. Man, Where did I put those keys?” “What was it I wanted when I opened the fridge door?” What was that phone number I just looked up?”

Are you old enough that this sounds familiar? Actually, memory problems like these affect most people at some time, but getting older can make such forgetting worse. These memory problems often happen because you lose attention and get distracted. As you get older, it is more easier to get distracted.

These changes can slow certain cognitive processes, making it a bit harder to learn a new skill or things quickly or screen out distractions that can interfere with memory and learning. Granted, these changes can be frustrating and may seem far from benign when we need to learn new skills or juggle myriad responsibilities. Thanks to various research, there are some strategies we can use to protect and sharpen our minds. Here are five you might try to be focused.

1. Focus on eating right

Unlike most muscles in your body, your brain never takes a break. In fact, It uses up to 20 percent of your body’s total energy expenditure.
A diet containing plenty of vegetables, legumes, fish and whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline. More than half our brain is made of fat, oily fish like salmon and tuna are true brain food. They’re rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that form your brain’s myelin sheaths, which are the protective coating around nerves that help them quickly communicate with one another.

2. Keep learning

A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age. Experts think that advanced education may help to keep your memory strong by getting a person into the habit of being mentally active.

Many people have jobs that keep them mentally active, but pursuing a hobby or learning a new skill can function the same way. Read; join a book group; write your life story; play chess or bridge; take a class; do crossword or jigsaw puzzles; design a new garden layout; pursue music or art.

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3. Get physically fit

Getting in regular exercise is beneficial to your body in every way, including your cognitive functions. In fact, many studies suggest that physical activity influences cognitive health, thinking and judgment skills.

For maximum Physical and mental benefits, try to get around 100 minutes of moderate aerobic activity—or 45 minutes of vigorous activity—a week, in addition to muscle strengthening exercises at least twice or thrice a week.

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