5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp at Any Age

I remember the first time I couldn’t find my car in the parking lot of my local grocery store. It was both annoying and unsettling. I spent what seemed like an eternity searching each row until it occurred to me – I walked! No wonder hitting the alarm on the fob didn’t elicit the usual lights and horn reaction.

That evening I made it a point to find out if at 55 years old, I should be concerned about my “brain blip.” What I learned was that as we age, it’s natural and normal to have memory lapses. And it’s widely believed these memory lapses begin as young as your early 40’s.

According to Ronald Petersen, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, occasional forgetfulness is expected and fortunately, not a sign of Alzheimer’s. And here’s some more good news, there are things you can do to preempt memory loss and improve your memory naturally.

How Memory Works

The act of remembering something as simple as someone’s name involves remarkable mental gymnastics. Your eyes communicate information to your brain’s visual processing center that passes it on to the brain’s area that recognizes faces.

From there, it travels to your brain’s memory processing center, which looks for associations link, do I know this person from high school? Is she a parent from the PTA? The information is then off to the brain’s language area that puts a name to the face and sends it to your mouth. When you consider all these connections happening in milliseconds, it’s a wonder we remember as much as we do!

Warning Signs That It’s Time to Act

Now, “senior moments” may be just another annoying sign that the years are stacking up, but these lapses get more and more alarming the older we get.

Below is a quick checklist to determine if it’s time to act on your memory lapses:

  • You regularly forget what day it is or appointments
  • You ask for details about an event more than once
  • You forget how to use the universal remote or microwave settings
  • You regularly misplace your reading glasses or keys
  • You can’t find the right words during a conversation

What You Can Do to Improve Your Memory

Your lifestyle choices have a significant impact on your memory. By eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, daily exercise, and limiting alcohol, you’ll experience a natural memory boost.

Decades of research shows there are several additional strategies you can use to protect and sharpen your memory. Here are a few you might try.

1. Use Your Brain

Mental activates are processes that help maintain your brain cells and stimulates communication. Join a book club, play bridge, write your autobiography, regularly complete jigsaw or crossword puzzles, take a language or design class. If you have a mentally challenging job, volunteer for a project that involves a different skill set.

2. Repeat What You Need To Remember

Repeat out loud or make a mental note of what you need to remember, which reinforces the memory connection. For instance, when you park your car at the grocery store, don’t just park and walk away. Pay special attention to the physical surroundings. Repeat out loud the section if it is marked. If you place your keys somewhere, tell yourself out loud the place you put them.

3. Use Your Sense of Smell

Pairing something with a scent helps your brain retain the memory. Brain imaging shows that the brain’s central odor-processing region, the piriform cortex, becomes active when people see objects initially paired with odors, even when the smell is not present. Next time you park your car, take a deep breath, and note the smell surrounding you.

4. Space Things Out

Repetition works best when it’s timed out. Instead of repeating things many times in short spurts, as if you were cramming for a test, restudy what you need to know after more extended periods of time. Try once an hour, then every few hours, then once a day. Spacing out information is specifically valuable when you need to master complicated information like new work assignments.

5. Brain Health Supplements

Supplements that contain neuro-nutrients formulated to support brain health have been shown to help improve your memory, focus, and ability to learn.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain contains 41 researched and proven ingredients, including Huperzine A, Bacopa Extract, DHA, Phosphatidylserine, and L-Tyrosine, which help boost cell membrane structure, improve blood flow, and fight free radicals. A daily dose fully supports your brain health and promotes optimal cognitive function to help keep your memories intact, helps you think smarter, and boosts your mental energy too.

 

Sources:
 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-improve-memory
 https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/7-ways-to-keep-your-memory-sharp-at-any-age
 https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2016/senior-moment-memory-lapse.html

8 Easy Memory Boosting Tips & Tricks

It was once believed that the brain develops rapidly in the first few years of a child’s life, then reaches its peak in the early 20s, leveling off around middle age, and then declining with advanced age. We now know that’s not exactly accurate; the brain continues to develop throughout our whole lifespan.

The disturbing thing that happens to the aging brain is the hippocampus shrinks in size, and the protective coating around nerve fibers starts to wear down, reducing the speed of neuronal communication. This reduction can affect your ability to process new information into your memory and retrieve memories already stored in your brain.

But take heart, it’s not all downhill as we age. In older brains, connections between different brain areas become more robust, and the branching of dendrites increases. The result is an improved ability to identify relationships among diverse sources of information, see a bigger picture, and better understand the broader implications of specific issues.

Several things can interfere with brain function as we grow older, including medications, diseases like heart disease and diabetes, poor sleep, and depression. The more you can do now to strengthen your brain and maintain optimal brain health, the more resilient and elastic it will be as you progress into older age. Here, then, are seven simple ways to boost your memory and protect your brain from age-related decline.

 

1. Stimulate your brain

Research shows that an active brain enjoys more new connections between nerve cells, and it can even help generate new brain cells and promote neuroplasticity. Stimulating your brain is easy, simply involving activities that put it to work and make it think. Read more, take a class, learn to play an instrument, create art, or do math or word puzzles, and strive to do fewer passive activities like watching TV.

 

2. Exercise

Exercise is a proven way to heal nearly anything that ails you, including brain decline. Physical activity promotes the development of new nerve cells in the brain, and it improves the connections between existing cells. It also improves brain function by lowering your blood pressure and reducing cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and stress.

 

3. Eat your vegetables

A healthy brain depends on a healthy diet. Feed your mind a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, and healthy oils like olive oil while cutting down on sugar, animal proteins, and processed foods. A nutritious, mostly plant-based diet can reduce your risk of cognitive impairment, including dementia, as you age.

 

4. Limit your drinking

Excessive alcohol increases your risk for dementia and other forms of brain decline as you age. It can also change your brain’s physical structures and chemical function, leading to addiction and dependence. Limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day, and avoid binge drinking altogether.

 

5. Take care of your mental health

Mental illnesses like anxiety and depression take a toll on your brain function, and while these and other mental illnesses don’t appear to increase the risk of cognitive decline as you age, they can affect your brain function, including your memory and your ability to learn new things. If you experience symptoms of mental illness, talk to your doctor. Mental illness is highly treatable, and there’s no reason to allow your quality of life to suffer because of it.

 

6. Keep your friends close

Social connections have been linked to a lower risk for dementia, and having a healthy social life can lower your blood pressure, improve your quality of life, and even extend your life expectancy. Make it a point to socialize with your friends and family regularly. If you feel isolated, meet new people by joining clubs or volunteering to expand your social network.

 

7. Lower your cholesterol

High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for dementia, and it can affect your day-to-day brain function. Have your cholesterol tested regularly. If it’s heightened, modify your diet and get more exercise, which will not only improve your cholesterol but also help you lose weight and improve your overall physical and mental health.

 

8. Boost brain health with a supplement

Brain-boosting nootropic supplements can have a positive impact on your brain function. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain provides powerful dosages of essential vitamins and minerals, including brain-boosting ingredients like Vitamin B, Choline, Phosphatidylserine, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine A. Two once-daily capsules of Dynamic Brain helps to improve your memory, focus, mental clarity, and cognitive function.

Taking good care of yourself–mind, body, and spirit–goes a long way towards keeping your brain healthy throughout your entire life. Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise your body and your mind daily, and take a daily nootropic support supplement to provide your brain with all of the nutrients it needs for optimal functioning no matter your age.

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-memory-and-thinking-ability-change-with-age
https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young