April 22, 2013

The Fit Mind: 5 Things Seniors Can Do to Improve Their Memory

Filed under: senior living guide — seniorlivingguide @ 11:34 am

Courtesy of Dixie Somers [dixiesomers@gmail.com]

Memory is a precious gift that one should seek to preserve as long as possible. To some people, memory loss is a source of embarrassment when interacting in social situations. However, many believe that memory loss is simply a natural part of the aging process. Memory loss does not have to be an inevitability, though; there are many things that seniors and others can do to keep and strengthen their memory. Here are five great ways seniors can maintain and improve their memory.

Learn A New Hobby

The scientists at the University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology that conducted the research about the impact of physical exercise on memory preservation noted that it was not enough to simply generate new brain cells. To improve memory, those new brain cells must connect to the brain’s existing neural network, and this is done by learning a new skill or hobby. If one always wanted to learn a new language or how to read sheet music for a musical instrument, this is the time to get started.

Senior ExercisesGet Moving

Scientific studies normally focus on mental exercises for preserving memory, but the latest studies conducted by a team of medical researchers at the University of Illinois show that physical exercise plays an even more important role in brain health. The part of a person’s brain related to memory undergoes a certain amount of degradation beginning in a person’s late 20s. According to recent findings, regular exercise helps stimulate neurogenesis which is the brain’s creation of new brain cells. These newly created brain cells are the building blocks of a healthy memory.

Journal Your Thoughts And Activities

Writing about experiences in a daily journal is a great way to reinforce memory. Even in this world of digital technology, there is still something about writing experiences down the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Journals from the Rustico website provide a way for people to document their experiences, helping them preserve memories mentally and on paper. Keep your mind active by writing memories and recording your thoughts in a journal.

Practice Good Nutrition

A varied, nutrient rich diet helps maintain good health and brain function. Foods high in antioxidant vitamins that fight free radical damage are particularly useful to improve one’s memory. Researchers found that fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C like oranges, broccoli, and blueberries are superfoods when it comes to protecting the brain. Consumption of healthy fats found in walnuts, avocados, and wild salmon are also critical to brain health and memory preservation.

Play A Game

Mental puzzles and brain teaser games are excellent ways to keep the mind sharp and enhance memory. There are several websites that provide a variety of mental exercise games that include quizzes, puzzles, and riddles. Another technique to improve memory is attempting at the end of every day to recall as many details of the day’s activities. This technique reportedly improves observational, memory, and concentration skills.

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