walking

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1. Break a Sweat
Good news: Even a little exercise grows brain cells. A 2011 study showed that older adults who walked just 40 minutes a day three days a week reversed age-related brain cell loss by one to two years.
meditating

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2. Breathe Deep
People who meditated as little as 20 minutes a day showed changes in the amygdala, which regulates emotion, according to a 2012 study. "These changes correlate with less depression and more happiness," says Gaëlle Desbordes, PhD, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital.
couple

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3. Roll in the Hay
In a study involving amorous rodents, Princeton researcher Elizabeth Gould showed that regular sex sprouts new cells in the hippocampus, where they help decrease anxiety.
juggling

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4. Toss It
In a 2009 University of Oxford study, people who practiced juggling 30 minutes a day for six weeks grew new cells in areas of the brain associated with processing visual information into movement. Possible benefits include increased coordination and faster reflexes.
car

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5. Toss the GPS
Research shows that older adults with better navigation skills have more gray matter in their hippocampi—and a decreased risk of dementia.

Next: 6 easy ways to improve your memory

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