How to Have and Keep a Good Memory All Your Life
A good memory is a great asset to have throughout life, but as you age a good memory becomes a true blessing.
Do you have trouble putting names to faces? Do you forget street names and even what you did last week? People as young as forty can, and do, experience minor memory loss. This can be both frustrating and embarrassing, but it need not happen.
Obviously a healthy lifestyle is vital for a keen memory. Studies have found that those who maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives, will perform significantly better on memory tests.
A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE IS ESSENTIAL
A healthy lifestyle includes keeping your BMI*, Body Mass Index, below 22, eating a low fat diet, high in whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and getting regular daily exercise. It also includes a lifetime of not smoking, and drinking alcohol only in moderation. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the functioning of the brain. They can even improve the cognitive functioning of older adults, who suffer minor cognitive impairments. Omega-3 fats are found in seafood such as wild salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, and shellfish. They are also found in fresh or frozen soybeans, called edamame, flax seed, omega-3 enriched eggs, and walnuts.
EXERCISE AND MEMORY
Exercise, essential for general health, is vital for both learning and memory. It is possible that regular daily exercise can even prevent, or at least delay, the loss of cognitive functioning considered to be part of the aging process. You do not have to go to a gym or take part in exercise classes to get the benefits exercise brings. Take part in any physical activity that you enjoy, play golf, garden, clean your house with vigor, get out and walk daily for at least half and hour, increasing your speed and the distance you cover as you are able. Exercise with weights as you watch television. Get moving and keep moving.
MENTAL STIMULATION AND MEMORY
The more mental stimulation your mind gets the better. Join a book club or discussion group, read, tell stories, play word and memory games, do crosswords or other puzzles. A simple way to stimulate you mind is to write you lifestyle. You don't have to be an author to write your lifestyle. The material is something known only to you. Just grab a pen and paper and get started. Writing your life story will not only stimulate your memory, it could prove to be a treasured memory that only you can pass on to those who come after you.
WATER AND MEMORY
As important as proper food is for a sharp memory, so is water. Poor hydration can cause problems with both memory and cognition, in adults and children, so make water drinking a part of family life. Your body needs at least eight glasses of water per day, more if you are exercising or if the weather is hot. Beverages such as juice, milk, and herbal teas do consist mostly of water, but plain water is still the best source of hydration. It is not necessary to invest in pricey waters. Good old tap water should be sufficient.
SLEEP AND MEMORY
Another factor to consider if you want to have and maintain a keen memory is sleep. Although the amount of sleep needed may vary between individuals, all human beings need regular, restful sleep every night. A consistent lack of sufficient sleep soon causes mood changes, decreased ability to learn, and deterioration in efficiency. Ultimately the ability of the brain to function effectively declines.
If you eat before bedtime, make it no more than a healthy snack. Keep regular sleep habits. Keep your bedroom dark and cool, and never look at the clock if you waken during the night.
If you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, do not immediately turn to medication. Discuss the problem with your family doctor.
MEDICATIONS FOR MEMORY
There are a variety of medications on the market that promise improved memory and mental acuity. All medications have side affects and they may also interact negatively with medications you already take. Discuss this with your family physician.
A WORD OF CAUTION
Some studies indicate that the herb Ginko Biloba is a good stimulate for memory. Talk to your doctor If you are considering taking Ginkgo Biloba. Caution is needed especially if you have blood-clotting problems. There is also the possibility of drug interactions as well as some side-affects.
IT'S GOOD TO KNOW
Even if you lifestyle up to know has been less than perfect, any change for the better will have a positive effect on your future. Work to improve your general health and a better memory will follow.
* Google BMI and the calculator will find it for you.