How to Keep Your Mind Sharp as You Age
1. Keep Busy
Wondering how to keep your memory sharp as your age? Keep your schedule busy! And research suggests the busier, the better…
In fact, greater busyness has been associated with improved processing speed, working memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge. There is also a strong association between a busy daily lifestyle and an improved episodic memory, or the ability to remember specific events in the past.
Ultimately, fill your time with meaningful activities and events, including these identified tips to sharpen your memory!
2. But Allow Rest
While keeping busy is memory-protective, the importance of allowing rest should not be slept on…
When sound asleep, nerve cells actively communicate with one another and harmful toxins associated to Alzheimer’s disease are cleared. Without this restoration, the risk of cognitive decline increases, along with an overall likelihood of early dementia onset.
Young adults and seniors are encouraged to sleep seven to nine hours nightly, though good sleep gets tougher with age. If you find yourself struggling to achieve the recommended hours regularly, these ideas to help cure insomnia can help promote a better night’s rest.
3. Consume Memory-Boosting Foods
The foods we choose to eat not only impacts physical health, but can influence memory and cognition.
For brain-protective benefits, consume an adequate diet and take a bite out of these 10 memory-boosting foods:
- Oats: Oats offer a steady dose of glucose for the brain and supplies zinc, a mineral showing promise in lessening cognitive decline.
- Berries: The antioxidant content provided by berries protects the brain against age-related memory loss.
- Eggs: Choline found in eggs is used to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which has shown to maintain memory and potentially lessen the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Beef: In addition to supplying zinc, the iron sourced from beef has an imperative role in oxygenating the blood, and individuals who are iron deficient may have compromised brain function.
- Green, Leafy Veggies: Eating more green leafy veggies has been linked to lower cognitive decline compared to those with lower consumption.
- Fatty Fish: The omega-3s source from fatty fish (such as halibut, salmon, mackerel, and tuna) may ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
- Walnuts: Along with supplying omega-3s, walnuts are rich in vitamin E, a vitamin associated to memory improvements.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols, compounds offering powerful antioxidant properties, that may defend against brain deterioration and weakening.
- Coffee: That morning cup of joe has been touted to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, particularly related to its potent antioxidant content.
- Peppermint: The smell and flavor of peppermint can enhance memory and increase alertness and attentiveness.
4. Exercise the Body
In addition to keeping the body agile and mobile for years to come, exercise keeps the brain sharp! Exercise may also stave against dementia, particularly by improving memory and thinking.
You can also dance your way to a healthier brain, as dancing has shown to improve cognitive performance and reaction times and increase greater feelings of happiness and reducing the risk of depression.
Common exercise guidelines include:
- Before starting any sort of exercise regimen, consult with a primary care provider to ensure safety.
- Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week and incorporate various forms of movement, including aerobic, resistance and strength, and balance exercises.
- Don’t forget to stretch! Doing so helps stave against injury. A warm-up and cool-down also helps protect against muscle pulls and strains.
- Since any movement is better than no movement, incorporate more ways to break a sedentary lifestyle throughout your day, including taking the steps, parking further away from the store’s entrance, and walking the dog in the mornings.
5. Continue Learning
Learning and challenging the brain helps activate and stimulate processes proven to augment cognitive function and deter against mental impairments.
Luckily, there are numerable opportunities to continue learning throughout the entire lifespan, including by:
- Enrolling in courses of interest.
- Starting a garden.
- Playing games with yourself or others, including puzzles and word searches.
- Learning a new skill, including playing an instrument or learning a new instrument.
- Volunteering for projects within the community.
6. Practice Meditation
Meditation is means to transform the mind, even showing sharpen memory. Evidence shows the practice leads to improvements in attention-related cognitive processes such as memory and attention span.
The pairing of meditation and mindfulness also gifts boundless mental and physical benefits, including lessening feelings of loneliness, weakening negative feelings, promoting longevity, diminishing chronic back pain, reducing blood pressure, improving sleep, and enhancing overall quality of life.
7. Use Tools to Your Advantage
One of the best tactics regarding how to regain memory is simply by utilizing tools to optimize brain function.
For instance, take advantage of calendars, planners, maps, address books, etc., along with designating specific areas to keep keys, purses, and other day-to-day things.
Removing clutter in the home or at the office can also minimize distractions, ultimately allowing you to maximize focus on new information and knowledge.