Brain Boosters to Improve Your Memory
We’ve all done it. We’ve met someone new and by the end of the conversation can’t remember their name. We’ve left for the store without our wallet or purse. We can’t remember where we put the car keys. We’ve even forgotten to pick our kids up from school.
“Memory loss is not just a problem caused by aging.”
Memory can be improved upon at any age with relatively simple exercises and lifestyle choices. It’s all about improving your brain’s neuroplasticity, or its ability to adapt and change. The amazing thing is how surprisingly simple it is to tap into this incredibly complex structure to prevent memory loss.
5 Easy Ways to Give Your Brain a Boost Today:
1. Prevent Memory Loss by Getting Enough Sleep
That means 8 hours for most normal adults. Think of sleep as the time when your internal database (your brain) processes and stores all of the information it collected during the day. If enough time is not allotted for processing before you put your brain to work the next day, the information that did not finish processing is compromised. Sleep weaves together all of the memories from the different parts of the brain used during the day and turns them into long-term memories. The longer you sleep, the more information your brain can process and commit to memory.
2. Reduce Stress to Prevent Memory Loss
You have probably noticed that when you are stressed and having a bad day, it usually just continues to get worse. This is because cortisol, the hormone secreted during stress, increases in the hippocampus, which is where your brain controls learning and memory. You enter a vicious cycle with stress because it affects your memory and learning, which then makes you forget things that make your day even worse! The less you stress, the more opportunity your brain has to improve your memory.
3. Prevent Memory Loss with Food that’s Good for Your Brain:
Feed your brain antioxidants such as blueberries, berries, and leafy green vegetables. These foods are full of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that protect your brain’s neurons from the long term damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation.
In addition, eat healthy fats such as walnuts and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids to improve your memory. Fish oil has even been associated with lowering the risk of dementia because it contains DHA, a fatty acid that lowers the production of memory-inhibiting substances in the brain. This allows new neurons to form and increases memory.
4. Keep Up Physical Activity to Boost Your Memory
When you are physically active, you not only benefit your body, but you stimulate your mind as well! Studies have shown that the hippocampus, the part of your brain that forms new memories, is larger in adults who are physically active. Even if you have not been physically active most of your life, you can still make improvements by starting now to improve your memory. Just an hour of physical activity three times a week can demonstrate results toward increased brain function.
5. Challenge Your Brain to Prevent Memory Loss
Every time you learn something new, you stimulate your brain to form new connections that contribute toward improving your memory. Learn a new language, take an art class, or drive a new route to work. All of these simple exercises train your brain to stay engaged and flexible with the stimulus around you.
If you do the same thing every day, your brain stops logging new information. It already has the information it needs to complete the task stored into memory. Learning something new triggers your brain to fire and create connections between neurons.
“Just as with good health, it’s never too late to improve your memory and prevent memory loss.”
Take these five small steps every day to feed your brain with nourishment and stimulation. You will experience the benefits immediately and start on the path to long-term improvements.
With over 850 highly rated doctors in San Diego County, the physicians at Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups are close by and ready to serve you. Schedule an appointment today with a doctor near you!
Do you have a favorite brain boosting activity? Share it with us in the comments below!