As we age, the risk of cognitive impairment increases. Luckily, incorporating certain lifestyle choices can help support brain health.

Smoking of any kind can harden blood vessels, increasing the likelihood of stroke. By quitting, you can also reduce the chance of developing heart disease, cancer and lung disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, exercise may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and slow cognitive decline.

The brain demands more glucose—energy—than any other organ in the body, according to an article published by Harvard Medical School.

It’s common to experience brain fog after a poor night’s sleep. However, prolonged sleep disturbances can have a profound effect on brain health.

Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats and nuts may help reduce the risk of stroke, Kousoulis says.

Johns Hopkins University study found that people with high blood pressure in midlife had a greater decline in certain thinking skills as they aged.

B vitamins help make chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions.

Stress also triggers the brain to release such hormones as adrenaline and norepinephrine that produce the heightened fight-or-flight response.

Older adults who socialize have healthier brains, according to a study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. Consider it mental exercise.

Change is sustainable when you start with baby steps, Shirvar maintains. “Pick one thing and then make small changes to reach the goal,” she explains.