Seven Simple Steps to Improve Your Memory
When I was a teenager, I could memorize anything. I could read a chapter from one of my textbooks and then answer most of the questions at the end without looking back. I memorized whole chapters of scripture for the church quiz team.
Now that I am older, memorization is much harder. My brain just doesn't work as well as it used to. I am only in my 30's, so it is a little scary when I forget things or it takes me more than an hour to memorize a single Bible verse. If my memory has degraded this much already, what will it be like when I am sixty?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your memory and brain power. Here are seven tips that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine to help improve your brain power and prevent memory loss.
Step #1: Exercise
First, you need to get moving. Yes, I mean exercise. This is something I really dread. Exercise seems like a lot of work. But you don't have to commit to a full-blown exercise program. Just find something you enjoy doing that involves moving your body, whether it is hiking, dance, shopping (think mall-walking!) or swimming. Exercise releases endorphins, which have a positive effect on brain function.
Step #2: Use It or Lose It
You know how your muscles get weak if you don't exercise them regularly? The same is true of your brain. To keep your brain in top shape, you must give it regular workouts. You can do that by reading, learning and interacting with people. Read books and magazines that make you think. Take a class to learn a new skill. Spend time talking to people and making new friends. These things will all help increase your brain power.
Step #3: Puzzles and Games
You can keep your brain in shape by working on puzzles and playing educational games. Do a crossword puzzle or buy a book of variety puzzles to work on. Math puzzles such as cross sums and sodoku are great too. You can also improve your brain power by playing educational video games. There are many free games online, or you can get one of the video games that are designed specifically to test and improve your brain power. These games are available for portable game systems such as the Nintendo DS and the Playstation PSP.
Step #4: Get a Hobby
Another way to increase your brain power is to pick up a new hobby that will require you to learn new skills over time. For example, when you learn to knit, you will start by learning how to cast on and bind off, as well as two basic stitches - knit and purl. Once you master those skills, you can move on to increases, decreases, changes colors, knitting lace, short rows and many other advanced techniques. No matter how long you knit, there will always be something new to learn. You can even move on to spinning and dyeing your own yarn.
Step #5: Take Supplements
Make sure you are getting all of the nutrients that your body needs to help improve your brain function. Since it is difficult to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need daily from diet alone, a good multivitamin is essential. There are also supplements available that contain fish oil and other nutrients that are believed to improve memory and boost brain power.
Step #6: Get Enough Rest
Many people take sleep for granted, but it is important for optimal functioning of both your brain and your body. Your brain needs enough sleep in order to process what it has learned throughout the day and to function well when you awake. If you are tired, you will have a loss of brain power. I have noticed that when I start to get tired, I lose the ability to do math in my head. I have to reach for a calculator to do even simple calculations. This is a cue that my body and brain need more sleep. Getting enough sleep will help improve your memory and brain function.
Step #7: Relax
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life. You don't always have to be doing something. Your brain needs time for relaxation as much as your body does. If you are stressed, it will show in your brain function and memory. Give your mind time to unwind and you will notice an improvement in your brain's performance.
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