By MIKE ZIMMERMAN
Exercise, a good diet, and mental challenges are great for your brain individually. Together? They'll make you unstoppable, at least according to animal studies. Here, ranked from most-research-backed to least, are the things to focus on.
1. Exercise 3 hours a week.
You've experienced it yourself on a mind-clearing walk: Moving your body is freaking great for your brain, both now and years from now. Majid Fotuhi of NeurExpand recommends keeping your heart rate up for at least 20 minutes at a time. In one study, people who increased their three weekly walks from 10 to 40 minutes expanded their hippocampi by 2% after a year—the equivalent of getting 2 to 4 years younger above the neck. Exercise increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a...