5 Ways to Avoid Memory Loss
Memory loss can be distressing for both the person experiencing it as well as their loved ones. Our experts have compiled 5 evidence-based methods to help avoid memory loss.
Not everyone has a perfect memory or can recall details at the drop of a hat, but if you are having trouble with memory loss lately, you may need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle.
If you’ve been forgetting things you shouldn't, and can’t figure out why, our expert is giving you 5 tips and tricks on how to keep your memory ripe at any age in life.
5. Get Up and Get Moving
Exercise is good for your health—we all know that—but how can it help keep your memory sharp?
“Exercise or any kind of physical activity relieves stress and can literally clean your mind of unwanted anxiety or worries,” says Christy Shatlock, MS/RD, and one of the lead dietitians for BistroMD. “Obviously, the more clear your mind, the sharper your memory will be.”
A healthy level of exercise is about 5 times per week, for at least 30 minutes. Incorporating some activities like yoga into the mix can also be beneficial, as meditation helps calm your nerves and revitalizes your other senses—all, of which, can help improve your memory.
4. Embrace Learning—At Any Age
There is a reason why most of us can recall those silly songs from elementary school or those complicated math formulas from college.
“Just like our bodies, our brains need a workout too,” says Christy. “Even if you are done with school, or are older in age, it doesn’t mean you still can’t learn something new. Learning more will actually help prevent memory loss.”
To keep your memory on point, learn a new skill that seems challenging but fun. Learn to dance a complicated tango; learn how to draw or paint; take a cooking class.
All of these things will help keep your memory intact, and help you get a little more enjoyment out of life.
3. Eat the Right Kind of Brain Food
Brain food isn’t just vegetables and fruits. These foods are good, but you also need healthy, satisfying, nutritionally-balanced meals in order to keep your mind and body functioning properly.
“Every morning, you should have a power breakfast to give you energy and to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning,” says Christy. “A good start: an egg white omelet with a plate of mixed berries, and a piece of whole wheat toast.”
Don’t skip out on meals, either. Make sure to eat at least three nutritionally balanced meals each day with healthy snacks in between. Yogurt and nuts are great low calorie and healthy snack options.
2. Don’t Feel Like You Can’t Be Repetitive
If repetition is key to helping you remember the things you need to, why not embrace it? Start repeating everything if it helps.
“If you hear something that you fear you won’t remember, write it down,” says Christy. “This helps reinforce the memory or connection.”
In the day and age of smart phones, there are apps available that challenge your brain to recall certain events. To help prevent memory loss, practice some of these exercises on your lunch break or whenever you have a free minute to spare. There are a ton of free "memory-training" apps available on both the Android and iPhone networks.
1. Get Your Rest (That Means, Sleep!)
If you don’t get at least 6-8 hours of restful sleep each night, you are encouraging your brain to become forgetful.
“A negative side effect of a bad night’s sleep is definitely memory loss,” says Christy. “Without an adequate amount of rest, our brain doesn’t store any new information, simply because it is overloaded. This is why cramming in college is not successful—your brain doesn’t have the energy to keep up.”
You may also need to alter some of your habits in order to promote a more effective sleep cycle. Try to establish a set time when you go to bed. Avoid drinking caffeine at night, and make sure to eat no less than 2-3 hours before you go to sleep. Eating too late can keep your brain wired into all hours of the night.
For more tips from our experts, please visit our health library section for more information.
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