Being active and eating well helps keep your body healthy, but these habits can also aid in keeping your mind sharp. To reduce your risk of losing the ability to think well, the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association issued a new advisory outlining a series of steps to keep your both your mind and body healthy.

“By following seven simple steps -- Life’s Simple 7 -- not only can we prevent heart attack and stroke, we may also be able to prevent cognitive impairment,” vascular neurologist Philip Gorelick said in a statement.

The steps, developed by the AHA, include the following: managing blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, keeping blood sugar normal, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, losing extra weight, and never smoking, or quitting if you do.

Life’s Simple 7 are typically promoted as ways to improve heart health, but after authors of the advisory reviewed 182 published scientific studies, they were prompted to update their recommendations to include brain health.

But, what exactly is a healthy brain? According to the advisory published in the AHA’s journal Stroke, it’s defined as one that’s able to pay attention, solve problems, communicate, make decisions, and regulate emotions. From a young age, you should start taking steps towards a healthy brain because narrowed arteries leading to heart failure and other problems can begin in childhood.

“Studies are ongoing to learn how heart-healthy strategies can impact brain health even early in life,” Gorelick said.

Maintaining good brain health is vital, especially considering dementia cases across the globe are rapidly rising. Currently, about 47 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and this number is expected to nearly triple by 2050, according to the World Health Organization.

In the past, experts believed Alzheimer’s and stroke weren’t associated, but this belief has since changed.

“Now when a patient comes into the office, we can tell them with good authority that by controlling cardiovascular risk factors, we can reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack—but we may also be able to help preserve your cognition, as well,” Gorelick told TIME.

In addition to the seven recommended steps, the authors of the advisory also emphasize the importance of following previous guidelines, such as being socially engaged, to maintain brain health. Other suggestions from Harvard Medical School to keep your mind sharp, include: keep learning, use all your senses, believe in yourself, economize your brain use, repeat what you want to know, space out periods of studying complicated information, and use acronyms as a way to remember lists.