4 Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp

Every individual may have a different take on what the ideal relaxing retirement looks like to them, but most everyone can agree on one fact – they don’t want to lose their memory. Adults who have watched their parents struggle with dementia know the frustration and heartache accompanying the condition. While no one has control over their genetics or certain environmental factors, everyone can alter their lifestyle in an effort to prevent age related memory loss. Healthy daily choices may not only curb deteriorating brain changes that come with age, but can also help to improve memory and increase quality of life.

1. Diversify Your Interests

Crossword puzzles are no longer believed to be the magic remedy that will ward off memory loss. In reality, crossword puzzles only engage one portion of your brain. To stimulate blood flow to all brain lobes, pursue learning in many different areas. Brain exercises come in more than one form. Schedule lessons to learn a new musical instrument. Join a gardening club. Take a history class at a local community college. Constant stimulation from learning new skills builds neural connections and can keep the brain growing rather than shrinking from adult life throughout retirement age.

2. Take Care of Your Hippocampus

The hippocampus plays a key role in long-term memory retention and the formation of new memories. This part of the brain’s anatomy is also very sensitive to stress. Chronic stress and the accompanying high cortisol levels can physically damage the capability of the hippocampus to access and recall memories. In an aging adult body, it’s more important than ever to put effective stress management techniques into practice. Make sure your body is experiencing enough rejuvenating sleep every night and speak to a counselor about emotional concerns that may be hindering good health.

3. Move Your Body

A combination of aerobic and strength-training exercise can control high blood pressure and jump start blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, including the brain. A study followed 120 aging adults for one year. One group started a basic aerobic exercise program where they engaged in physical activity three times per week. After the year had passed, MRI tests of the participants’ brains showed the active adults increased brain volume, whereas the control groups’ brains had shrunk 1.5 percent. Exercise may be the single most effective effort anyone can make to retain brain function into their later years.

4. Revise Your Diet

How many antioxidants do you consume every day? Introduce colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains, all rich in Vitamin E and C. Replace saturated fat with fish. Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA found in fish are key to proper neural function. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.

Knowing how to protect against memory loss and improve your memory is vital to a healthy, enjoyable retirement phase. If you need to speak with a medical professional further regarding health concerns related to memory loss and brain function, speak with the team at My Senior Health Plan and select an insurance plan designed to comprehensively care for every physical and emotional need during your next stage of life.

Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/04/15/176920391/how-exercise-and-other-activities-beat-back-dementia