12 / 04 / 21
Five ways to boost your memory and keep it razor sharp
As we get older many people can notice that their memory is getting a little slower than it used to be. Generally, when we pass the age of 40, everyone tends to lose about 10,000 brain cells a day – but this isn’t the reason to why our memory isn’t as sharp. Most memory problems associated with growing older are caused by lack of concentration, motivation or by stress.
Plus, as we get older we tend not to work our brains as hard as we used to when we were younger. Other factors are physical, such as our circulation tends to slow down as we age, therefore less oxygen reaches our brains, we can slow it down.
Essentially, what you need to remember is that the memory is like any other muscle in your body, it needs to be used often to help it function and work. So here we outline some ways to keep your memory working marvellously.
Give your brain a workout
As you would exercise your body, so you must also exercise your brain. Embark in some cognitive exercises such a reading, learning a musical instrument, playing a board game or even doing a regular crossword. Ensure you build in an activity like this regularly to ensure you brain is active.
Maybe set your brain a challenge and learn something new to take it out of its comfort zone for example, learning a new language, a video game, or a new puzzle.
Plus, if you are physically active and are taking up exercise classes three to four times a week this will also help challenge your brain and keep it active. So, it is good to combine both mental and physical activities.
There is no need to completely change your diet or suddenly follow an extreme way of eating. A few subtle changes will benefit your memory greatly. Make sure you have plenty of vegetables, fruit and nuts and make the source of them very wide ranging, so you are getting as wide a variety of vitamins and nutrients as possible.
Specific foods that we know are great for the brain are nuts, blueberries, oily fish, poultry and cooking with olive oil.
We know this seems like an obvious one but ensure you are hydrated all day. Being dehydrated can cause problems like headaches and can affect your memory. Try and have a glass of water with every meal and in between meals too and mix and match with other drinks too such as tea, squash and fruit juice. Coffee can still play a part in keeping you hydrated but try and limit it to one or two cups a day and preferably in the morning.
Getting enough sleep is both important for your physical health and your mental health. If you don’t have enough sleep, we all know it can affect decisions you make the following day. Don’t feel guilty if you feel like a short nap in the day.
Exercising is great to help the memory as it triggers changes in our brains including growing new blood vessels and boosting oxygen around our bodies. The type of exercise you do is important. To gain those brain and memory benefits you need to do aerobic exercise regularly. Meanwhile, resistance training – such as using weights in the gym, some styles of yoga or even carrying heavy groceries – has a positive effect on the brain’s function.