According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 9 US adults 45 years and older report memory issues. And 40% of US adults 65 years and older have age-associated memory impairment.    

As we age, certain cognitive functions naturally decline, like our memory. This means that we can’t always prevent memory loss from occurring—but we can slow it down. Here are 3 preemptive tips:

One, stay social. Numerous studies show that socializing helps to maintain brain health and ward off diseases that destroy memory, like Alzheimer’s. So, prioritize and seek out interactions with others: call your parents, chat with your barista, grab dinner with your coworkers. Look for these opportunities throughout your day.

Two, exercise your brain. One study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that participants who engaged in 10 hours of brain-training a week for 6 weeks, showed an improvement in memory skills for the next five years. You can engage in brain-training by doing crosswords, puzzles, or even playing video games. 

Three, get plenty of rest. According to researchers, a lack of sleep can impair our ability to focus, learn, and consolidate a memory. Ensure that you’re meeting the sleep guidelines for your age group to solidify new memories in your brain. You likely need at least 7 hours of sleep each night, but you can check with the National Sleep Foundation to be sure.  

These 3 tips can help you slow down memory decline.