What you'll learn

  • Focuses on foods linked to better brainpower — including the specific fruits and veggies most likely to protect against dementia
  • Explains the importance of regular exercise and how it may even help clear away plaques that contribute to Alzheimer's disease
  • Reveals the importance of sleep — and the sleep stage that's most important for memory
  • Helps you manage stress and explains why comfort foods are "comforting"
  • Shows you the importance of staying socially active — it may help delay dementia
  • Challenges your brain with everything from puzzles and board games to music and travel

Course description

In this online course from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard experts bring you a 6-step plan for boosting brain health and cognitive fitness. In this course you will learn about cognitive reserve — the brain's ability to find alternate ways of doing something — and how it can help fight the brain changes associated with dementia and other brain diseases. Plus, you'll find out how you can boost your own cognitive reserve and buffer memory loss by challenging your brain.

Every tip, technique, and fascinating fact is explained by our experts through engaging slides, charts, and interactive learning tools. You'll get quizzes, downloadable, printable worksheets, games, puzzles, and lots more to help motivate you to keep your mind and memory sharp for life.

Course outline

  • Introduction
    • Welcome
    • Course overview
  • Cognitive Fitness 101
    • Cognitive fitness: Your number 1 goal
    • Functions of the brain
    • Anatomy of the brain
    • How the nervous system works
    • How to test your cognitive function
    • How cognitive function is shaped over a lifetime
  • Medical Conditions that Affect the Brain
    • A multiplicity of internal and external factors
  • Step 1: Eat a Plant-Based Diet
    • Emphasize fruit, vegetables and legumes
  • Step 2: Exercise Regularly
    • Consider both cardio fitness and strength training
  • Step 3: Get Enough Sleep
    • It's critical for establishing long-term memory
  • Step 4: Manage your Stress
    • Exploring different tools and strategies
  • Step 5: Nuture Social Connections
    • A vital link in retaining cognitive health
  • Step 6: Continue to Challenge your Brain
    • Understanding your brain's need to learn new things
  • Summary
    • Working the six steps into everyday life

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Medical School

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