Reader’s Digest cites Scottsdale’s ‘sharpness’

Whether you get bogged down by brain fog or remain as smart as a whip until your ninth decade has a lot to do with the healthiness of your community. That’s because “sharpness” — present-day smarts as well as maintaining a healthy mind at low risk for dementia — depends on education level, eating and exercise habits, health conditions, and sociability, according to the latest brain-health studies.

Leading experts on cognition developed a formula to determine a city’s sharpness, and then Reader’s Digest analyzed the traits of 120 large cities. Here are the cities topped the list and the traits they exhibit that earned them the honor:

1. San Francisco, CA – Sharp trait: Farmer’s markets, which help ensure that residents fill up on plenty of brain-healthy foods.
2. Arlington, VA – Sharp trait: Education. Seven in 10 residents hold at least a bachelors degree, far above the national average.
3. Fremont, CA – Sharp traits: Low smoking rate and high creativity levels.
4. Seattle, WA – Sharp trait: Exercise, which increases blood flow to the brain.
5. Madison, WI – Sharp trait: Diabetes prevention.
6. Portland, OR – Sharp traits: Biking and seasonal eating.
7. Salt Lake City, UT – Sharp traits: Libraries with circulation rates nearly double the national average.
8. Scottsdale, AZ – Sharp trait: Parks, which increase good moods.
9. St. Paul, MN – Sharp trait: Community that foster stimulating conversations that fire up the brain’s frontal lobe.
10.  Asheville, NC – Sharp trait: Spirituality and volunteerism.

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About Michael Gossie

Michael Gossie is an award-winning journalist who has earned more than 50 awards for writing, editing and design. He studied economics at Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y., and put his entrepreneurial spirit to work in 2007, using a 200-year-old family recipe to launch an Italian sauce company. He is a competitive marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and is most proud of being the founding president of the Steuben Arc Foundation in Upstate New York, which serves individuals with developmental disabilities, including his sister.