Everyone forgets things occasionally, but memory loss is nothing to take lightly. The good news is you can do something to improve your memory! Your brain has the remarkable ability to keep growing at any age with the right health habits! This can significantly improve the performance of the part of the brain that is responsible for short-term memory. The human brain shrinks with age and a smaller brain doesn't work as well. If you can't remember where you put your keys, glasses, or phone, follow these 9 easy steps to sharpen and improve your memory.
Eat Brain Food – Foods that have flavonoids, such as deep colored berries and grapes, beets, dark chocolate and cocoa, can boost your brain. A recent Harvard study showed increased blood flow and better memory performance after participants drank two cups of cocoa a day for one month. Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, fish oil and algae can increase the size of the area of your brain that controls short-term memory. A healthy diet can be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low-fat protein. Don’t forget to keep hydrated. Not enough water can lead to confusion and memory loss.
Stay Organized – You are more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered. Start with one room by gathering all items that haven’t been used for more than one year. Donate these items to your favorite charity. Buy clear plastic storage bins to store the items you will keep. Not only will you be able to easily see and locate what you are keeping, but the bins are stackable for better organization. Keep a current to-do list and check off items that are completed. Record appointments and other special events on a calendar or electronic planner.
Drink in Moderation - Light to moderate alcohol consumption can improve memory. A French study followed 4,000 people over 65 and found those who consumed 2 glasses of wine a day were 45% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than non drinkers. However alcohol abuse has a negative effect on the cells of the brain that is related to memory.
Dismiss Stress - Stress and frustration stimulate chemical changes that can shrink the area of the brain that controls memory. Managing stress is all about taking charge: of your thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way you deal with problems. Decide to be happy in spite of the circumstances surrounding that surround you. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important will it be in the long run. Don’t forget to focus on all the positive aspects of your life and to give thanks. How you think has the most profound effect on your emotional and physical well being. Laughter is the best medicine; make it a part of your daily life. Get together with a friend, spend time nature, sweat out tension with a good workout, play with a pet, watch a comedy, or listen to music. Do something you enjoy everyday!
Get Moving – When you work out to the point of breaking a sweat, you actually grow new brain cells in the area of your brain that controls memory function. In recent studies people have increased the size of their brain that controls memory from 1% to 8.6% after three months of aerobic exercise. The optimal exercise guide is 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity with 15 minutes of strength training four times a week. Physical activity increases blood flow to your entire body, including your brain which helps to keep your memory sharp.
Play It Safe – Even a minor fall can cause a microscopic tear in your brain and the scar tissue can cause memory problems. Be safe and wear head protection when playing any concussion-prone sports. Wear a helmet when biking, skiing, skating, playing water sports, riding a horse, and in any situation where a head injury can occur.
Keep Learning – Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape and can help keep memory loss at bay. Take alternate routes when driving. Eat out at a restaurant not in your neighborhood. Take lessons; painting, dance, photography, music, anything that you enjoy. Volunteer at a community organization. The key to keeping your memory stimulated is to keep learning and trying new things throughout your life.
Be Social – Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of these can contribute to memory loss. Get together with loved ones and friends weekly. Social interaction requires mental maneuvering and also brings you pleasure, which releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals, and reduces excess cortisol, a chemical that shrinks the brain. Studies show that people who find meaning in their lives and pursue their passions, such as religion, time with family and creative expression, have healthier brains especially as they age.
Know You’re Numbers – Focus on lowering your blood sugar, blood pressure and belly fat. People who have diabetes are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Even if you don’t have diabetes but have elevated blood sugar you are at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s. Having borderline high blood pressure can put you at risk for a stroke. Having a belly size bigger than half your height increases you risk of stroke and sleep apnea, which can lead to brain shrinkage.
Follow your doctor’s treatment for any chronic conditions. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. Just like the muscles in your body, it is possible to assert some control over the health of your brain. Live life to the fullest and do something you enjoy each and every day!
If the challenges of family and career are making life overwhelming and difficult to care for a loved one in need of assistance, we can help. Today’s families have very busy lifestyles so many times family members want to help and in many cases try to help but generally it is only a matter of time before it all becomes overwhelming trying to juggle too many tasks at one time. For most just knowing that companies like ours are here when you need support and an extra set of caring hands make the process less stressful and smooth.
Should a loved one need help, call us today 770-442-8664!
Easy Living Services, Inc.
Providing Home Care to Atlanta families since 1994