As we continue to age our short-term memory becomes more and more strained. Do you notice that you find yourself looking for your car keys more than normal? Or, are you forgetting the names of people that you recently met? If so, don’t be alarmed, it’s just part of getting older (ugh…)! We most certainly feel your pain and for that reason we thought it would be fitting to provide you with a few tips on how to keep your memory sharp as you age…gracefully, of course. Training your brain to maintain a good memory can help decrease the risk of developing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia in the future.
Start by turning off the TV every now and again and picking up a book. Reading helps to feed your brain with information and create thoughts that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. When you watch TV, the images are already projected to you without you having to think. Conversely, when reading a book, your mind will create the images as you imagine them be. As you read, the parietal lobe starts working, which effects thought process – a “stronger” parietal lobe will help to ensure that you’re still sharp well into your golden years. Plus, depending on where you are in life, it’ll either make your parents happy or be a good example to set for your kids. Win-win.
In addition to exercising your muscles, exercise your brain. After all, it’s definitely one of your most important muscles. Try playing word games and strategy games to keep your brain “moving” and constantly thinking. Check out this article on the best word games for smart phones so you can work your brain out on the go, or take a look at Lumosity. If games just aren’t your thing, try teaching yourself a new skill or language (Rosetta Stone, anyone?). You may even want to consider enrolling in some night classes in subjects that don’t necessarily have to do with work, but are focused on areas that really interest you. That way, you’ll be much more engaged and willing to learn. Plus, the social interaction won’t hurt either.
Make sure to eat a healthy diet. If you haven’t read it already, check out our blog on how eating healthy foods can help slow the process of Alzheimer’s disease. A good diet will keep you alert and energized, which will in turn help to keep your brain more active as well.
Always get enough rest. A lack of sleep can lead to a build up of proteins on your synapses which will ultimately give you difficulty thinking. Making sure you get adequate rest is imperative. If you have to, go to bed earlier. But don’t let that fool you…getting too much sleep can be a detriment also. Sleeping too much can ultimately lead to feelings of sluggishness throughout the day which will make your brain work overtime to try and keep up with your daily tasks. Everyone is different and that is why we say get adequate sleep. What works for you may not work for someone else.
Stay happy. It has been proven that feelings of depression can lead to an accelerated rate of memory loss. If you do find yourself feeling down more often than not, go talk to someone. Don’t ever sacrifice your health because you’re unhappy. Always surround yourself with people and places that are good for your mental state.
Of course, none of these things are a guaranteed repellent for developing neurological diseases at some point in your life or having a photographic memory, but anything you can do to mitigate risk and stay sharp is a step in the right direction.
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