Memory loss and forgetfulness can be a part of aging. Not every misplaced item or forgotten birthday is a sign of something more serious such as dementia, but these events can be a frustrating part of growing older. However, there are certain things that you can do in your daily life to keep your brain healthy and your memory working at top-speed.
Whether you want to better remember presentations for work, or simply want to not forget daily occurrences in your life, consider these five tips to help you boost your memory.
Challenge Your Brain
By the time you get to a certain age, you’ve already trained your brain on how to do certain activities. In order to give the brain a workout, you’ll need to stimulate it by breaking the routine. You can do this in simple ways by taking a different route home, or changing the direction of your daily walk. Develop new pathways in your brain by learning a new skill. Pick a new hobby that you can build on and always challenge yourself to get to the next level. Make sure your new tasks are rewarding to you, as that will give your brain positive reinforcement when you succeed!
If you are a lover of learning, and you like to recite stories or facts to friends and family, practice overlearning the material you want to share. If you overlearn something, it’s not as big of a deal to forget minor details, because you have all the fundamentals in place. Spend more time diving into topics that interest you, and learn as much as you can about those things. Some universities even offer free classes and programs for seniors to encourage continued education.
Exercise Your Body
Your brain loves exercise, and not just the mental kind. Moving your body gets the blood flowing, which is also beneficial to your brain. When oxygen is flowing freely to your brain, there is a reduced risk for disorders that cause memory loss. When you exercise, especially aerobically, you are helping to boost growth factors and stimulating new neural connections. Exercise can also help you clear that “mental fog” that may happen in the late afternoon or early morning. Get your blood flowing early for a brain wake-up first thing when you get out of bed.
Involve the Senses
Relate information you learn to different senses in order to remember it better. Use color, textures, smells, and taste to remember events and important items. Try rewriting information or reading it out loud to engage other senses in your memory. Write different topics in different colors to associate those colors with that specific information, and recite what you’ve learned or need to remember in order to hear yourself say the information. All of your senses can work together to give you a better memory.
Eat a Brain-Healthy Diet
Certain nutrients such as Omga-3 fatty acids found in foods such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, beans, spinach, and broccoli can help keep your brain working in top condition. Limit saturated fat, and eat more fruits and vegetables. You can even drink red wine in moderation to help boost your brain function, but make sure you don’t overdo it because too much alcohol can actually kill brain cells. Diet is an important part of overall health, and a big part of keeping your brain working hard for you.
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How to Improve Your Memory. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/how-to-improve-your-memory.htm
Tracy, B. (2018, February 19). 7 Strategies You Can Use to Improve Your Memory. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from