Rhymes and mnemonics may be a useful way to quickly assign something to memory, but how can you keep your memory sharp in the long term?
A certain level forgetfulness is a normal symptom of aging. However, there are certain habits and hobbies that you can pick up to exercise the brain and keep your memory sharp.
As social animals, we don’t just enjoy socialising; we need it! Spending time with friends and family keeps our brains engaged and helps us feel connected to our surroundings. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, people with more active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline than those who are more isolated from society. So, why not pick up the phone and call an old friend?
Get the rest you need
Just like food and water, sleep is essential to our survival. It plays a huge role in our mental and physical health, and sleep deprivation has been closely linked to a decline in memory function. To help keep your memory sharp, make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule so that your brain can enjoy its natural circadian rhythms. However, keep in mind that too much sleep has also been associated with poor memory function, so don’t spend all day napping either.
When you enter retirement, it might be tempting to switch off for a bit and give your brain a well-deserved break. But think twice before you sink too deep into a blissful brain siesta. One of the best ways to keep your memory sharp is to never stop learning new things. Your brain is like a muscle; it needs regular exercise to perform at its best. Look into lifelong learning courses in your local area. Learn a new language, sign up for guitar lessons or start outlining that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Who knows, you might discover a talent you don’t even know you have.
Eat a brain-boosting diet
Wholegrains, oily fish and blueberries are just some of the superfoods that are thought to improve your brain’s memory function. The antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, and vitamin B (specifically B12, B6 and folic acid), found in legumes, have also both been shown to improve memory. If you aren’t getting enough B vitamins in your diet, speak to your doctor about taking a B vitamin supplement.
Train your brain with puzzles, crosswords and trivia
Just as learning something new is a great way to keep your brain engaged, certain brain teasers are also an effective way to strengthen your memory muscle. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and even a good old fashioned pub quiz will all keep your brain working hard. The more you challenge yourself, the better your brain gets at linking relevant facts and ideas, and that’s what memory is all about.
What do you do to keep your memory sharp?