Our memory is a powerful thing and an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s where you put your phone, making it to that doctor’s appointment, or recalling the countless joys in our lives, our memory is an essential part of our every waking hour – and while everyone forgets things at one point or another, as we age, our memory unfortunately does right along with it. Though we can’t turn back the clock, there are steps you can take that could improve your memory and help keep your brain sharp.
Puzzles like sudoku, crosswords or even jigsaw puzzles are great activities because they are designed to work your brain. Building a daily routine that involves ‘thinking games’ is not only fun, but it can also help you view your brain like any other part of your body – one that needs attention and training. Here are a few of our favorites to add to your daily mix:
Talk, laugh, play, bake, you name it. Engaging with others is an important form of stimulation for the brain. Find time daily to connect, and vary the activities – morning calls, a book club, Wednesday walks with a friend. The company we keep can play a huge role in helping to keep our brain active and engaged.
Calming your mind and reducing your stress is never a bad idea, especially when it comes to your memory. The 2022 version of meditation is even easier to fit into daily life with a range of apps that can be accessed from our phones or computers. Here are two great ones:
Looking for an excuse to hit the snooze button? This is it. Getting enough rest is crucial to our entire wellbeing and can play a big part in how our memory functions. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, “Without adequate sleep and rest, over-worked neurons can no longer function to coordinate information properly, and we lose our ability to access previously learned information.”
There’s a reason your doctor brings this up every year at your physical – the list of benefits tied to regular exercise goes on and on, and it includes brain health.
The advantages to eating a healthy diet aren’t just physical, they’re mental, too. When asked what is the best recipe for maximizing memory, the Mayo Clinic says, “Research suggests following an eating plan that provides a healthier selection of dietary fats and an array of plant foods rich in phytonutrients.” See the full list of foods here:
There is no simple or guaranteed way to overcome the impacts of aging on our memories, but there are many small, steady measures that we can take to help slow that process.