Have you ever wandered into a room only to forget what brought you there in the first place? You’re not alone. Memory is part of an extremely complex process that stores billions of pieces of information for later use””so it’s no wonder that some things can be easily forgotten. Your ability to recall information can vary from situation to situation and can decline over time as part of the aging process. So what can you do today to keep your mind sharp and support healthy memory for tomorrow?
- Exercise Your Mind. This may be an obvious tip, but how many of us actually engage in brain-challenging exercise? Crossword puzzles, word games, trivia””these can all help exercise your mind. But there are also numerous other things you can do, like undertaking challenging tasks or attempting new ways of doing something familiar. For example, try taking a new route home from work or brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. These activities stimulate different parts of your brain and can help keep your mind sharp and limber.
- Exercise Your Body. You may not be aware that physical exercise can benefit healthy memory. But the truth is, exercise can deliver loads of oxygen-rich blood to every part of your body, including your brain. Studies with mice have shown that exercise may also stimulate the production of new neurons.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep. In the short term, getting a good night’s sleep before a big exam can help support concentration, focus and healthy cognitive function. New research suggests that getting enough rest every night can help support healthy long-term memory by giving your brain the time it needs to review, reorganize and store memories.
- Nourish Your Body. Certain nutrients can help support healthy memory by protecting brain cells from free radical damage or exposure to amino acid breakdown. These include B vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta carotene. Omega-3 can also help support healthy memory by giving the brain adequate amounts of essential fatty acids that help support normal nerve-cell function.