Tips To Boosting Memory and Staying Sharp

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and almost two thirds of those with Alzheimer’s are women.

Stretching your brain keeps your mind sharp. People who are more active in mentally challenging activities are much less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. Try these:

  • Read a book.
  • Go to a lecture.
  • Listen to the radio.
  • Play a game.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Learn a second language.
  • Learn how to play a musical instrument.
  • Grab that joystick. Several studies found that playing video games stimulates the parts of the brain that control movement, memory, planning, and fine motor skills.
  • Socializing and talking with others actually sharpens your brain, whether at work, at home, or out in your community. Studies show social activities improve your mind. So volunteer, sign up for a class, or call a friend!

Staying Brain Fit

Researchers at Duke University created exercises they call “neurobics,” which challenge your brain to think in new ways. Visit neurobic.com for games to keep your brain fit.

Exercise, especially the kind that gets your heart rate up like walking or swimming, has mental pluses, too. Although experts aren’t sure why, physical activity might increase the blood supply to the brain and improve links between brain cells. Staying active can help memory, imagination, and even your ability to plan tasks.

A Healthy Diet Builds Brainpower

Do your brain a favor and choose foods that are good for your heart and waistline. Being obese in middle age makes you twice as likely to have dementia later on. High cholesterol and high blood pressure raise your chances, too. Try these easy tips:

  • Bake or grill foods instead of frying.
  • Cook with “good” fats like oils from nuts, seeds, and olives instead of cream, butter, and fats from meat.
  • Eat colorful fruits and veggies.
  • Eat fish.

You know that too many drinks can affect your judgment, speech, movement, and memory. But did you know alcohol can have long-term effects? Too much drinking over a long period of time can shrink the frontal lobes of your brain. And that damage can last forever, even if you quit drinking. A healthy amount is considered one drink a day for women and two for men.

Sleep, Rest and Relaxation

Too much stress can hurt your gray matter, which contains cells that store and process information. Here are some ways to chill:

  • Take deep breaths.
  • Find something that makes you laugh.
  • Listen to music.
  • Try yoga or meditation.
  • Find someone to talk to.

Get enough sleep before and after you learn something new. You need sleep on both ends. When you start out tired, it’s hard to focus on things. And when you sleep afterward, your brain files away the new info so you can recall it later. A long night’s rest is best for memory and your mood. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Memory Helpers

Everybody spaces out now and then. As you get older, you may not remember things as easily as you used to. That’s a normal part of aging. Some helpful hints:

  • Write things down.
  • Use the calendar and reminder functions in your phone, even for simple things.
  • Focus on one task at a time.
  • Learn new things one step at a time.

For more information about Alzheimer’s visit alz.org.

Resources:

Web MD, 2016.

Alz.org, 2016.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.

Call Now
Directions