5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Cognitive Wellbeing

Shutterstock / Phovoir © Woman artist at home;

By Hester Anderiesen Le Riche, PhD – CEO, creator and founder of pioneering cognitive stimulation system, the Tovertafel.

Hester Anderiesen Le Riche

Hester Anderiesen Le Riche

Without a ‘cure’ or treatment to reverse the damage caused by diseases like dementia, people increasingly wonder – is there anything we can do to maintain cognitive wellbeing?

The good news is – there is! Despite being unable to ‘heal’ our brains, or prevent dementia from developing altogether, we can in fact delay the point at which symptoms begin. In Alzheimer’s disease (the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases), the first signs are short term memory loss or difficulties planning consecutive steps of an activity. These functions lie within the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain where we can make a difference.

We can protect this frontal lobe by enjoying a healthy, active and stimulating life. The following 5 lifestyle habits will support the ‘cognitive reserve’, the protective layer that prevents damage to the brain – and building this shield is actually lots of fun!

1 Keep physically activeBy taking up some form of physical activity each day, you keep the brain motivated and challenged – which has huge benefits for your cognitive health!

Senior couple is doing fitness training at home. Doing yoga together. Healthy lifestyle concept.;

Pic: Shutterstock

2 Stay Social –  Socialising is important, even if it can only be a socially distanced walk with a friend or conversation over the phone for now. Whilst developing Tovertafel, I found that socialisation reduces feelings of apathy and keeps the brain energised and stimulated.

African senior woman doing video call during coronavirus lockdown - Old person having fun with technology trends - Social distance concept - Focus on face;

Pic: Shutterstock

3 Be creative – Creativity boosts the brain’s capacity as it helps to build connections in the brain which prevent memory loss and preserve cognitive functions. These connections can make you more resistant to the effects of cognitive challenges that may develop later on life.

Woman artist at home;

Pic: Shutterstock

4 Get in touch with your musical side – It’s never too late to take up a new instrument or return to an old one. You don’t have to be the next Mozart – it is all about making new connections within and between brain areas.

Women Violinist Playing Classical Violin Music in Musical Performance;

Pic: Shutterstock

5 Get inspired – Another fantastic way to maintain your cognitive wellbeing is to get inspired and get curious by experiencing new cultures and foreign concepts.

Holiday Vacation Travel Trip Concept;

Pic: Shutterstock


Hester Anderiesen Le Riche, PhD, is an expert in how play can improve the quality of life of those living with cognitive challenges and learning disabilities. Based on years of research with people with cognitive challenges and their carers, as well as her training as a social engineer, Hester developed the world’s first interactive light game for those with cognitive challenges – the Tovertafel.


Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!