SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
As we get older, our ability to remember things may begin to change. Maybe you can’t remember someone’s name or where you left your car keys, whatever the case, there are many ways to help protect your memory as you age.
One of the most important ways to maintain memory is to keep learning. People who have jobs that are mentally active tend to have a stronger memory. Mental exercise can activate processes that help maintain brain cells and stimulate their communication.
Reading, writing, doing crosswords, solving puzzles, playing chess, and other games that exercise your mind are some mental exercises that can help improve memory as you age. Learning any new skill is always beneficial for the brain. Creating and preserving brain connections is a continual process, so being a lifetime learner can help with memory and other cognitive functions.
Be sure to get a good night sleep as well, to maintain a strong memory. Getting on a regular sleep schedule and cutting back on caffeine can help you to get a healthy amount of rest. Anything less than 7 hours can have negative consequences on the mind and its ability to remember things.
Getting enough sleep also helps to reduce stress, and frequent stress can destroy brain cells. Cortisol, the “stress hormone” in the brain, is known to injure and kill cells in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that controls memory.
Moderate exercise like daily walking, light workouts, and aerobic exercises can help to reduce stress.
Another way to help limit stress, is to stay away from alcohol or nicotine and incorporate healthy eating habits into your lifestyle.
Eating healthy, brain food can help to improve memory. Adding foods like blueberries, wild salmon, nuts, seeds, turmeric, and avocados into you diet can help to maintain a healthy brain. A vitamin B12 deficiency can attribute to memory problems as well, so be sure to also eat foods like meat, eggs, and milk.
By doing mental exercises, getting a good night’s sleep, keeping stress levels low, exercising physically, and eating healthy, you can help to improve your overall memory.
If familiar tasks become difficult, if you're often confused, and notice unusual or severe memory issues, speak to a health care professional.
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