How to Improve Memory

Healthy Aging
on August 13, 2011
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Memory loss is often seen as an inescapable fact of life — you get older, your memory slowly deteriorates. Thankfully, studies have shown that this is not necessarily true and that it is possible to improve your memory. It may even be possible to slow or prevent the loss of cognitive function over time, simply by taking care of yourself and flexing your “cognitive muscles,” so to speak. For years, it’s been a well-known fact that in order to keep muscle mass and tone, you have to actually use them. Now science is discovering that the same may very well be true for brain matter, and the approach may be similar to how you attend to other aspects of overall health.

Stimulate your brain. The foremost strategy to improve memory is to simply use your brain. Socialize more, volunteer in the community, learn something new or play games that encourage different types of thinking. This is the primary reason that many adults over 40 are going back to college for night classes or community education — not only is it a great time to learn new things, but it may also help preserve and improve your memory.

Make healthy lifestyle choices. Pay special attention to good nutrition and overall health. According to the National Institute on Aging, not eating enough healthy foods or having too few vitamins and minerals in your body may cause memory problems. Avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine, and maintain a healthy weight for good overall health.

Employ memory tools. There is nothing wrong with always putting things in the same place or always performing certain tasks at the same time every day in order to better remember. Your mind already has countless things to keep track of, and helping it out with a little organization or some note-taking will almost certainly ensure that fewer things will slip your mind.

Stay active. Exercise and socialization are imperative for improving memory. Exercise helps improve your circulation, which delivers a lot more oxygen and nutrients to your brain. Getting out and doing things helps balance brain chemicals for better mental health as well. Depression and boredom are considered two of the top culprits in age-related memory loss, as well as a host of other issues.

Found in: Healthy Aging