7 Tips to Improve Your Memory
A fading memory doesn't necessarily need to be a part of your future. The Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic are two impressive healthcare systems that are dedicated to health and wellness. They seem to agree on common habits we can act on to improve our memory:
- Keep your brain active- participating in games that involve strategy (like Bridge or some online games), learning new things (musical instrument, a language), volunteering, and reading are just a few examples of keeping the brain challenged.
- Sleep well- sleeping 6-8 hours a night promotes the memory by storing it during deep sleep. If you aren't sleeping well, there are many health consequences, and memory is just one of them.
- Socialize- by connecting with others, you are both mentally active, and also warding off depression and isolation which can damper your memory. Having a purpose in life and being with others can create a positive environment, enrich relationships and create memories with loved ones that will be cherished.
- Eat well- this has been reviewed in the previous blog. What we eat is so important in fueling the brain to work as it should, and also keep the vessels in the brain from becoming clogged or blocked, which can lead to dementia, stroke and other health problems. Keep the diet low in fat, rich in fruits and vegetables and use whole grains rather than processed foods. Avoid alcohol which can also adversely affect the memory.
- Exercise- the goal for exercise is 150 minutes a week in any way you can get to this goal. Brisk walking for 75 minutes a week is a great start. Don't forget to add light weights to keep the bones healthy and strong, and work on flexibility and balance to keep the ligaments healthy. This habit reduces your risks of falls and injuries now, as well as maintaining your mobility through your lifespan. Keeping active and strong also prevents those pesky "weekend warrior" injuries and aches and pains that occur to those who have sedentary jobs or habits.
- Get organized- we all need little reminders. Calendars, to-do lists, and making the habit of always placing things like your car keys in a certain spot will help with your brain health as well.
- Manage your overall health- whether you have thyroid problems, diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol issues, optimizing your overall health keeps the brain healthy and maintains your memory.
In addition to these tips, the Cleveland Clinic has an app to keep your brain healthy. An assessment is used to form an action plan specific for your needs. This information can be found at: www.healthybrains.org
Cleveland Clinic (2016). How healthy is your brain. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from www.healthybrains.org on 5/2/17.
Mayo Clinic (Nov 2016). Seven tips to improve your memory. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046518