Tl;dr - Dancing, crosswords and fish
Doing exercise, brain training and eating fish could be the three key components to maintaining brain power in old age, according to new research.
Scientists in Finland took 1,260 people aged between 60 and 77 on a two year study. The group was split into two groups, with one being given regular health advice while the other half was given a complete transformation of lifestyle - being given brain training programs, group exercise classes and being told to eat a Nordic diet - including two portions of fish a week.
At the end of the study, published in the Lancet and reported by the Guardian, the second group was found to score on average 25 per cent higher in mental tests, 85 per cent higher in organisational tests and an astonishing 150 per cent higher in processing speed.
Professor Miia Kivipelto of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, who conducted the research, said that it was not necessary to start hitting the gym; dancing is a good option because while it is active it is also fun and social. While recommended brain training methods included doing crosswords or sudoku, reading books and learning a new language.
The researchers will now follow the group for another seven years to see if the new lifestyle regime can help prevent Alzheimer's.