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Mental workouts 'should be top New Year's resolution'

2nd January 2007

Elderly Americans are being urged to exercise their brains and improve their mental health in 2007.

Recommending ten key ways to keep the mind healthy, the Alliance for Aging Research has joined a number of other organisations in promoting the benefits of mental exercises.

"There is a lot we can do to keep our brains healthy and potentially prevent or lessen the cognitive decline that often comes with aging," said Daniel Perry, the executive director of the charity.

The Alliance for Aging Research highlighted the importance of eating a brain-healthy diet including lots of omega-3 fatty acids, fruit and vegetables, vitamin B and protein.

Staying mentally active, taking regular exercise, keeping a social life, getting plenty of sleep and managing stress effectively are also important, the charity said.

It also recommended people take steps to avoid brain injury, control other health conditions, lead a healthy lifestyle and take their genes into consideration.

Previous research has shown that exercising the brain can help prevent mental decline as people become older.