Engage Your Brain to Keep Memory Sharp
Keeping your mind and memory sharp might be as easy as greeting your neighbor or reading a new or favorite book. Other gratifying ways to train your brain and stay on your game:
- Socialize – mingling keeps minds active by improving interpersonal connections, reducing stress and keeping depression at bay. So next time you have a chance to meet someone new or catch up with someone you know, go for it.
- Curiosity – A commitment to lifelong learning keeps your brain limber. It introduces you to new concepts and maybe even helps you make new friends (see above). Researchers at the Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, found memory gains with information participants were curious about. So whatever lights you up, go forth and learn more. Your brain will thank you.
- Acupuncture – a recent study of more than 500 patients receiving acupuncture for 2-3 months months fared better than those receiving supplements and medication. Recipients also saw improvements on a picture recognition test and the Mini-Mental State Examination.
Sing your way to better memory
- Sing – Researchers at the University of Helsinki found musical leisure activities, particularly singing, are cognitively and emotionally beneficial. This was true particularly in the early stages of dementia. Singing was found beneficial for working memory, executive function and orientation, especially in persons with mild dementia and at younger ages (under age 80). Join a choir/chorus. Go to worship services that include music. Sing in the shower.
- Challenge yourself – do a crossword puzzle or sudoku, learn a language or learn to meditate, create or cook a new recipe that incorporates brain-beneficial foods. Try dark leafy greens, omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish, legumes or other lean proteins.
- Stay mobile – and we won’t mean your phone. A body in motion keeps blood pumping and improves oxygen flow to your brain. Don’t you think it’ll love you for it?