Forgetfulness, disorientation, language issues and decision-making problems. These are all signs of memory loss and dementia. While everyone forgets things sometimes, it can be scary to experience it in yourself or a loved one. It’s not yet possible to fully prevent memory loss, but there are certain things you can do to improve your memory.
Here are six tips to keep your memory sharp:
Just as physical exercise keeps your muscles in shape, mental exercises can help keep your brain in shape. Cardiovascular activity has been shown to help you remember things better. Research shows that exercising for approximately a half hour at least three times a week can increase blood flow to the brain. Plus, exercising is just good for you in general!
Social interaction is an important part of life and a key to remaining mentally active. Enjoyable engagement with friends and family can help prevent memory loss by decreasing the likelihood of depression and stress – two known factors in memory loss. Social engagement is particularly key if you live alone.
Talk to your pharmacist
When’s the last time you and your doctor of pharmacist examined all the prescription and over-the-counter medicine you take regularly? Some medicines and combinations of medicines can affect your memory. Take some time to check your medicine cabinet and review its contents with your trusted pharmacist.
Get some sleep
Sleep is key in so many aspects of our lives, but especially when it comes to memory. When we sleep, our brains and bodies work to clean up and file information. It’s important for adults to get approximately seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Think of food as fuel for not only your body but also your brain. Whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables and lean protein, are the building blocks of solid mental and physical health. Certain foods have been found to help memory, such as blueberries, which contain powerful antioxidants.
Change it up
If you are used to doing something a certain way, try something new. Go to a different grocery store or visit a museum you’ve never gone to before. New experiences can help improve recall, because your brain is challenged to store new information.