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5 Cognitive Health & Brain Longevity Tips For People In Their 40s

Over 40? Here Are The 5 Best Tips For Promoting Brain Longevity

It's always a good time to support your brain longevity (aka brain span), but if any decade is the pivotal moment to lean into habits that promote cognitive health and function, it's your 40s. After decades of monumental life transitions through your 20s and 30s (College! Starting a career! Getting married!), chances are you've slowed down (or at least settled down) a bit during this phase of your life. 

Maybe you have children and find your day filled with the typical familial routine—drop the kids off at school, take care of loads of errands and chores, pick the kids up from soccer practice, whip up a quick dinner, head to bed, repeat. Or perhaps your day is filled with business to-do's, like a hard day's work at the office or running your own company. Maybe your day is even a combination of those two scenarios (or none of the above). No matter where you are in life, it's important that your brain can keep up.

Brain health in your 40s (and beyond).

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You might not have as much energy as you did in your 20s and 30s, so nurturing your brain to support its ability to pay attention, recall memories, learn and process new information, and more is vital.

Generally speaking, 40-something is when our brains start to feel the impact of the lifestyle choices we've made throughout our lives. If you haven't established foundational health habits yet (e.g., exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, and managing daily stress), you may be feeling it more in your brain and body during this phase of life.

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How perimenopause affects brain health.

For women, this phase of life can be especially challenging mentally and emotionally thanks to perimenopause. After decades of menstrual cycles (and maybe a pregnancy, or a few) post-puberty, your hormones are shifting to prepare you for menopause. With this comes hormonal changes that can have a profound impact on your cognitive functioning and overall brain health.

During this transition, many women experience hormonal brain fog—i.e., clouded thoughts, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating—thanks to decreasing estrogen and progesterone levels leading up to menopause. This phenomenon can be downright discouraging, as it affects cognitive functioning in a palpable way.

(For specific tips to reduce mental fogginess and promote mental clarity and performance during perimenopause, check out this article.)

How to support your 40-something brain.

According to neurologists Dean Sherzai, M.D., Ph.D., and Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., the most important thing you can do in your 40s to promote brain longevity and nurture cognitive function is strengthen your executive function skills (i.e., processing, problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, etc.). 

This means not only playing complex games (think crossword and jigsaw puzzles, card games, and chess) but also engaging in soul-fulfilling activities. "It becomes exponentially more important to challenge the brain around your purpose as you get older," Dean previously said on the mindbodygreen podcast. "We say, 'Don't retire—rewire. Reconnect.'"

Here are some ways you can strengthen your executive functioning skills and promote brain longevity in your 40s (and beyond!):

  • Take a comprehensive brain health supplement. Nootropic supplements contain specific nutrients, bioactives, and botanicals that help support and strengthen executive function skills, improve memory, and enhance focus to bolster overall brain health and longevity. For example, mbg's brain guard+ features a little-known, neuroprotective botanical called kanna, which has been found to support executive functioning by increasing brain-wave frequencies associated with attention, memory, and stress resilience.*
  • Pack your diet with brain-supporting foods. Packing our plates and stocking our cabinet with foods and targeted supplements rich in essential micronutrients and phytonutrients (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin D3, and polyphenols) can help keep our brains in tiptop shape throughout our life span. After all, longevity nutrition is a real thing.
  • Maintain a regular exercise routine. Moving your body (in any way that feels good to you) is great for your brain. From increasing blood flow to your brain to regulating a healthy mood, adding intentional physical activity to your day can seriously support cognitive functioning.
  • Develop a mindfulness practice. Whether you take up a structured mindfulness activity (e.g., meditation, journaling, or yoga) or simply carve out time to sit in nature and reflect, giving yourself time to just be is crucial for stress management. (And a stress-free life is a healthy, happy one!) 
  • Find a hobby that brings you joy—and do it often! Activities that both challenge your brain and make you genuinely happy are vital for a long, healthy life, Dean Sherazi explains. "Managing a team, book clubs, card games, learning to dance, music, taking classes at any age... It should be about more complex things that you enjoy," he says.
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The takeaway.

Your 40s are a pivotal time for your brain health. Adding brain-supporting activities to your routine during this decade of your life will help promote longevity of the mind, body, and spirit for years to come. 

Whether you decide to take a daily supplement for brain longevity, add more fatty fish to your weekly meal plan, or join your community's garden club, your brain will thank you for supporting it—today, and down the road.*

brain guard+
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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(13)
brain guard+

brain guard+

Brain nutrition for cognitive performance and mental clarity*

brain guard+

brain guard+

Brain nutrition for cognitive performance and mental clarity*

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(13)
brain guard+

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