At my age (56 for at least another week), I’ve begun to wonder if there are ways to keep from forgetting where I parked my car. Or put my keys. Or what I’d gone to the store for in the first place.

To that end, I’ve become an advocate of the “use it or lose it” plan. I work Sudoku puzzles every night before bed to keep my mind sharp. I consciously take on new challenges and learn new things (but don’t ask me how to update my website without help—yet!). I take vitamins and supplements to keep my brain cells healthy and strong.

And I consider, at least briefly, oddball tidbits of information I read in various mass-market magazines, a.k.a. “supermarket tabloids.”

One recent article suggested we retain new information better if we do something with our hands while listening. Touching our chin or ear, for example. Another said we should skip the drive-thru to keep our brain cells healthy (a high-fat diet allegedly effects short-term memory). Luteolin, in the form of chamomile tea or by eating carrots, celery and green pepper, purportedly prevents the brain inflammation that contributes to age-related memory loss.

But my favorite was the idea that by walking 30 minutes three or four times a week, we can “grow” a better memory. Moderate physical activity apparently prevents shrinkage of the hippocampus. In fact, the article even suggested it could reverse it!

The article said some things about the BDNF—the brain-derived neuropathic factor, and a bunch of other stuff, the details aren’t important. The important part is that now I have another reason to get outside today! That much, I remember!