Senior adults have an increased risk of facing memory issues. As we age, our brain cells start degenerating, which is why we tend to forget important things. If you want to reduce the risk of becoming forgetful as you age, then there are specific things that you can do to keep your brain active.
Mental exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep are the top 3 activities to enhance your brainpower. Engaging in these 3 areas can help reduce the risk of losing intellectual capability or facing dementia.
Below, we’ve outlined 8 ways you can reduce the risk of memory loss associated with aging.
Economize Your Brain Usage
Most people don’t need to expend their mental energy on minor details, such as committing all of their friend’s birthdays to memory or remembering where they put their keys. There are tools to help you remember things and navigate life more easily.
As you get older, these tools become increasingly important as the risk of memory loss increases. It will require more concentration to learn new things or remember important facts. You can use planners, calendars, shopping lists, address books, file folders, and mobile applications to store critical information, like birthdays, appointments and medication reminders.
Keep the Home Free of Clutter
Ensuring the home is organized and free of clutter is one way to minimize physical distractions and enhance memory. It is much easier to find a set of keys if there is a designated hook for them, and it is easier to find bills that need to be paid if the countertop is not full of junk.
Repeat What You Want to Remember
If you intend to keep certain information in your mind that you have recently read, thought or heard about, then you should repeat that information over and over. Repition reinforces the memory. This is one of the most highly-used techniques when it comes to memorization. It’s why children and college students use flashcards to repeat concepts and learn new things.
Never Stop Learning
Learning keeps the brain active, which reduces the risk of memory problems. People that have advanced educational degrees often enjoy enhanced mental ability in old age. There are ways to keep the brain active beyond advanced degrees. Engaging in classes at a local community center, playing chess and online courses are all ways to keep the mind active. Nowadays, there is a plethora of online articles, videos, and courses to enjoy and learn from.
Always challenge the mind with several exercises as it will help in activating the cells of your brain and stimulate communication pathways between neurons. Many people are engaged in jobs that allow them to stay mentally active and learn new skills. Apart from that, you can also read a book, write a story, complete a jigsaw puzzle or crossword, pursue art or music and other types of work to keep your mind engaged. It is essential to make learning a lifelong priority in order to preserve your mental capacity.
It is so important to fuel your body and brain with the proper vitamins and nutrients. A healthy, well-balanced diet can support a healthy mind. Talk with your primary care physician about your diet and whether or not a vitamin supplement could benefit you.
Specific foods, like antioxidant-rich blueberries and dark chocolate, are terrific for enhancing our memory. Omega 3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, are also incredibly beneficial to the brain. Make sure to speak with your doctor or a licensed dietitian to determine the best approach for yourself.
Exercise the Body
Exercises—especially vigorous aerobics—can increase blood flow and improve circulation inside your brain. If you can’t engage in intense cardiovascular activities, try swimming or strength exercises.
All types of exercise can help in relieving stress and improving mood. Yoga, meditation, and walking may be easier on the body, but still provide the same brain-boosting benefits.
Being social, hanging out with friends and meeting new people are all important for brain health. Making new friends has the added benefit or allowing you to learn new things. On the flip side, living a solitary lifestyle can have a negative impact on the brain. It can lead to anxiety and depression, and potentially increase the risk of memory and brain health issues.
Get Adequate Sleep
The brain processes all of the events from the day when you are asleep and consolidates it into your memory. Sleeping allows the brain time to clean and remove a protein called beta-amyloid plaque, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Losing one night of sleep can increase the risk of memory problems and dementia. Plus, a good night’s rest helps reduce stress levels and keep our brains healthy. Always get plenty of sleep to allow your brain to rest.
These 8 tips may help you reduce the risk of memory loss. Share what you’ve learned with senior loved ones and other friends and family members to keep yours and others brains healthy!