Seniors: Improve your Memory

Oct 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Yahoo! Health recently published a feature on the 10 latest tricks to improve your memory.  SCJ readers are encouraged to follow the Yahoo! Link for the details and documentation in the article.  Some of the findings are fascinating:

  • Talk with your hands:  The important behavior here is to store two kinds of information in your brain when you want to remember something. For example, when you put your keys in your purse or pocket, say out loud where they are. You will be more likely to remember their location later when you want to use them
  • Take a chill pill: Calm down and actively reduce stress in your life.  When people experience chronic stress, the memory part of the brain shrinks.  People living with negatives are also more likely to develop memory problems than more easy going people.

  • Get plenty of sleep: Getting at least six hours of sleep can help improve your memory.
  • Diet: Eat more fruits and veggies: A Harvard study revealed people who ate more vegetables had a slower decline of brain function as they age.  Some brain-boosting nutrients may reverse memory loss also.
  • Read and discuss what you read: Join a book club or make a point to talk about what you read with family and friends.  It’s the discussion that helps improve brain functioning. 
  • Meditation and Exercise: Meditation exercises, such as that done in Yoga, helps cognition and other skills essential to critical thinking.  Increased blood flow to the brain always helps, never hurts.
  • Sniff some rosemary: Research in the UK found rosemary outpaces other herbs (parsley, sage, thyme) for improving memory.
  • Pay attention!:  Some (a lot?) of memory problems are simply a product of not listening and recording the information at the time.  You cannot recall information you do not store.  My husband is a retired clergyman; I always had a ton of new names to learn when we moved to a new church/appointment.  Listening attentively when introductions were made and repeating a person’s name always helped my memory.
  • Learn a new song: Again, you are using two tasks to remember something: auditory and verbal.  You exercise that part of your brain that handles memory when you learn something new that requires two memory-related tasks.
  • Doodle on paper: some researchers suggest free-associating with your pen or pencil might be the key to strengthening the memory center in our brain.   

Be sure to read the full article for interesting details and research documentation.  Without that, this blog is just my opinion.

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