Have you ever gone into a room and then wondered why you did it? You know you went there for a reason, but was it to get your keys, or your cell phone, or to turn off the tv? You remember eventually, but the momentary blip causes a worry: Are you losing your memory?
Relax and remember this: You can stop this from happening.
Science used to see brain functions, such as memory, like semi-mystical processes that were not in our control. Cognitive decline was seen as a natural result of aging. Today, we understand this is not the case. Although there is no guarantee that you will be getting grand prizes on Jeopardy! in your golden years, there are many easy things you can do to stop memory loss. Read on to discover our three top ways to ensure your memory is protected as you age.
1 — Drink Coffee
Good news, coffee junkies: Your daily ritual can be very good for your brain. Several studies have revealed that caffeine has a good effect on memory—and the benefits are very pronounced in the people who are middle aged and over 65. Memory peaks in the morning and lowers over the day, but research released in the journal Psychological Science discovered that older adults who consumed two cups of coffee did not suffer this “time-of-day” effect.
What to do: Drink up. But don’t drink more than 300mg of caffeine per day, which is around three cups of coffee.
2 — Exercise
You knew that physical exercise is good for your heart, but did you know it can literally pump your brain up? Researchers at a University in Britain found that aerobic exercise increased the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of your brain linked with memory storage.
What to do: The American Heart Association says you should do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes of hard aerobic activity, like swimming or jogging.
3 — Keep Mentally Active
Just as exercise helps your body stay fit, mentally stimulating yourself by doing certain activities can help keep your brain in shape—and might prevent memory loss.
What to do: Do crossword puzzles. Play computer or card games. Volunteer at your local charity or school. Take alternating routes while driving. Learn a musical instrument.
Author: Scott Dowdy