Losing your memory due to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other similar conditions is a cause for great concern, especially among senior citizens. To reduce the risk of developing conditions that jeopardize the brain’s ability to store, access, and reference memories, boosting brain power and improving brain health should be top priorities for individuals of every age.
There are numerous ways to accomplish this, and these methods are often easy to adopt and integrate into your daily life. From eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest to exercising your brain through education and targeted activities, tactics to enhance your memory are plentiful and accessible. When working to improve your memory, it is important to understand that this endeavor requires consistent effort; using your brain and keeping up with memory-boosting initiatives on a regular basis will promote better results and overall health.
As with all mental and psychological health matters, physical wellness tends to play a significant role in promoting optimal function and stability. Memory is no exception. Physical health focus areas to improve include your diet, physical activity level, and sleeping habits. By making an effort to enhance your physical health, you can more easily impact your cognitive and mental health as well, promoting better brain function and memory as a result.
Several studies suggest that certain diets, foods, and components can have positive effects on your memory. Some foods may outshine others in their potential for improving memory and cognitive function, including:
- Kale and spinach
Regularly including these foods in your diet could have a positive effect on your memory boosting efforts, but in general, a well-rounded diet that prioritizes fresh, unprocessed food and healthy fats will be beneficial.
When it comes to specific diets, the Mediterranean and ketogenic (keto) diets are often cited as healthful, especially for improved memory function. In particular, the Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest diets due to its balance of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats, and more; prioritizing the elements of this diet may correlate to a longer life, reduced risk of chronic illness, and improved cognitive function.
Similarly, recent research on older animals suggests that seniors who follow the keto diet may experience improved brain function and memory in addition to a longer lifespan. While it is not necessary to completely rework your diet, prioritizing healthier options, especially those that may be connected to better brain health, could generate productive results.
Exercise and Physical Activity
For many aging individuals, regular physical activity can be difficult to accomplish, but the benefits of exercising are numerous, not only for your physical wellness but for your brain health, too. Low-impact exercise like walking and light stretches, as well as moderate-impact activities like yoga and Pilates, can increase dopamine levels, boosting your mood and promoting more efficient brain function.
Even everyday activities like household chores can provide a similar effect as low-impact aerobic exercise. Studies suggest that completing chores around the house on a regular basis can reduce time spent sedentary, produce dopamine, encourage blood flow, and promote the formation of new neural connections over time.
Rest is essential for optimal physical and mental health. Restorative sleep, especially when consistently achieved, can help you improve your memory consolidation and enhance your creativity, attention span, and problem solving abilities. Prioritizing a healthy sleep routine can promote better overall health and allow you to improve your memory through rest.
Practice makes perfect, and keeping your brain engaged and active is crucial for boosting your memory. By participating in relevant mental exercises and social activities, you can improve the health and function of your brain, thereby promoting better memory capabilities for yourself.
Memory exercises and mentally-stimulating games are some of the easiest ways to keep your brain active and boost your memory. By challenging yourself to recall details from media you enjoy, remember items on a list, memorize song lyrics, do mental math, or other similar exercises, you can keep your memory skills sharp and prevent them from declining.
Games like sudoku, crossword puzzles, or even Tetris can also boost your memory and cognitive abilities. By requiring strategic thinking, critical analysis, information recall, problem solving, and logic, among other mental skills, these games can have a profound impact on your memory.
Relationships and Connections
Socialization is a critical part of improving cognitive function and boosting memory. Staying in touch with beloved friends and family members can keep your brain active and healthy, promoting the development of healthier gray matter. Making new connections through social events or even social media can encourage improved memory capabilities; by actively engaging the brain through facial recognition, emotional intelligence, and conversation, seniors can keep their brains engaged and boost their memory in the process. Social activity is also critical for reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness, both of which can contribute to mental decline.
The Allure Group, a network of six New York City-based skilled nursing facilities, recently introduced PadInMotion technology, placing tablets at all 1,400 bedsides in their facilities. These tablets were utilized for relaxation and entertainment purposes prior to the pandemic, but with concerns regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus to vulnerable populations, the tablets became crucial for communication and connection between residents and their loved ones. Because loneliness and social isolation can lead to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, technology that facilitates connection even across distance is invaluable to seniors.
Reducing the risk of developing Alzhiemer’s disease, dementia, or other forms of memory loss is a worthwhile pursuit. Fortunately, improving your memory and enhancing your overall health can be done with relative ease. Ensuring your physical health is taken care of and making efforts to regularly engage your mind will go a long way toward boosting your memory.