As you age, it becomes more common to forget simple things like where you left your keys or wallet. Slight memory loss is normal and does not indicate more serious diseases like dementia. Although not all seniors will experience memory loss, it is important to prepare for it. Below are 3 things you can do to boost your memory as you age:
1. Keep your brain in shape
Keep your brain active is just as important as keeping your body active. You can keep your brain healthy by doing crossword puzzles, word searches or taking an alternate route home. You can also keep your brain active by learning a new skill or volunteering for a cause you are passionate about. However, if you feel strongly that you need help with your memory loss, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor.
2. Use your senses
It has been proven that your brain is more likely to recall a memory if that memory is associated with several different senses. For example, in a study, adults were shown a series of images that were presented with a smell. When asked later, they were able to recall the images associated with pleasant smells. When you are learning a new skill, try to associate this skill with a smell, taste or feel. For example, if you join a ceramics class, remember the feel and smell of the clay you are using.
3. Get regular exercise
Participating in exercise that regularly gets your blood pumping will lower your risk of cognitive problems dramatically. Did you know it is suggested to get 30 minutes of exercise per day? What you do in this 30 minutes is up to you. It can be anything from a brisk walk to water aerobics. If you need a suggestion, tai chi has been proven to be an effective exercise with brain-strengthening effects.
So, as you can see, what you do (or don’t do) matters when it comes to gray matter!