8 Habits for a Healthy Life

2. Exercise to Avoid Brain Drain

Remember less as the years go by? You’re not imagining things: Your memory declines about 2 percent each decade because your hippocampus (the part of your brain that stores memories) literally shrinks. But you can even the playing field by keeping up with regular exercise, says neurologist Majid Fotuhi, M.D., Ph.D., director of NeurExpand Brain Center, and author of Boost Your Brain. “A third of your brain is made up of blood vessels, so it makes sense that your physical fitness impacts your brain health,” Fotuhi says. “Research shows that after a yearlong exercise program, the size of the hippocampus increases by about 2 percent, which effectively reverses age-related brain loss.”