The Checkup: Stop What You’re Doing and Exercise Your Nose

Yes. Your nose.

I’ve got a wicked sense of smell; it’s a blessing and a curse. Those fresh-made donuts from the bakery down the street? Mmm, I can smell ’em. That stinky man on the 48 bus? Sigh. I can smell him, too.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed my fears this week, reporting that our smelling powers wane with age and noticeably fall off by the time we’re in our 30s. Wah.

The good news is, all hope is not lost: There are exercises you can do for your nose that help sharpen your sense of smell. Like, smelling three to four distinct scents at various points throughout the day to trigger different nose receptors. Or making a point to smell your food—everything from tea to French fries—before eating.

You can also test your sense of smell by eating spoonfuls of chocolate and vanilla ice-cream with your eyes closed; if you can’t tell the difference, you may have a sniffer problem that requires medical attention.

Check out more here, and be sure to click over to the infographic for fun scent factoids.