5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory
It’s no secret that as you get a little older, your body changes, and so does your memory. Slight forgetfulness is normal, but take heart. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and let memory loss take its own course. There are things you can do to improve your memory and brain functioning. Here are my top 5:
1. Stock Up on Fruits and Vegetables
When it comes to choosing foods that bolster your memory, eating fruits and vegetables should be high on your list. With vegetables, choose dark green, leafy ones like spinach and broccoli. And with fruit, choose anti-oxidants like pomegranate, black cherries, and blackberries.
2. Don’t Forget About Protein
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Your brain needs protein to stay alert and active. Meat isn’t the only source of protein, and that’s good news for vegetarians. Protein can be found in nuts and peanut butter, beans and lentils, leafy greens and green peas, seeds like sesame, poppy, and sunflower, and more.
3. Play Fun Brain Games
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Improving your memory doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Find a game that actually exercises your brain and boosts your memory. Some low-cost examples are solitaire, crossword puzzles, Old Maid, Go Fish, or tic tac toe. Some more expensive ones include mobile apps (like Lumosity and Happify), online games, Scrabble, and video games. You can play games alone while relaxing before bed or by the pool, or you can host a game night with your family and friends.
4. Get Out and Exercise
At first you may wonder how exercise can improve your memory, but physical activity gets your blood pumping, which sends oxygen to your brain, which makes you feel and act alert. When it comes to exercising, you can pay a membership to join a gym, or you can choose an activity at home to do with a friend or family member, like walk, bicycle, swim, or dance. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, or you just think it’s too hard, try it in small steps. Don’t overdo it or you’ll give up completely. Above all, find a physical activity that you enjoy. This improves your chances of staying with it.
5. Focus on Rest and Relaxation
Who would think that taking a short nap through the day, or getting an extra hour or two of sleep at night could improve your memory? It all goes back to the body-mind connection. When your body feels good, your brain feels good. When your brain feels good, your body feels good. It goes hand in hand. So when your body awakens feeling rested and ready to go, so does your brain, and therefore, your memory. Another tip to remember about getting proper rest is to avoid caffeine and sugar in the evening hours before bed. Make a comfortable routine out of retiring for the night. Take a warm bath or shower, play soft music, read a nice book. Pamper yourself at bedtime, and your memory will thank you.