Brain and memory wellness is important for all of us, regardless of how old we are. Today we will share the 3 pillars of total brain health and 7 ways you can improve your memory!
The 3 pillars of brain health that we should always focus on include our:
1. Our Body – Our physical well-being is critical to healthy brain function, underscoring the importance of good lifestyle choices such as diet and exercising.
2. Our Mind – Intellectual well-being through mentally stimulating activities that challenge skills, stretch our mental capacity, and teach us memory strategies is essential for brain health.
3. Our Spirit – Starving off the damaging effects of stress and other negative emotions, while filling our lives with satisfying personal relationships, offers surprising benefits for the brain.
Most of us are concerned about our memory and want to do everything we can to keep our brain and our memory as healthy as possible. Here are seven simple ways to sharpen your memory and know when to seek help for memory loss.
1. Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This might help keep your memory sharp.For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as jogging — preferably spread throughout the week. If you don’t have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.
2. Stay mentally active
Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and might keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Play bridge. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization.
3. Socialize regularly
Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others — especially if you live alone.
4. Get organized
You’re more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current and check off items you’ve completed. Set aside a place for your wallet, keys, glasses and other essentials.
Limit distractions and don’t do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you’re trying to retain, you’re more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you’re trying to retain to a favorite song or another familiar concept.
5. Sleep well
Sleep plays an important role in helping you consolidate your memories, so you can recall them down the road. Make getting enough sleep a priority. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day.
6. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet might be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, beans and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too. Too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss. So can drug use.
7. Manage chronic conditions
Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for medical conditions, such as depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and hearing loss. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can affect memory.
When to seek help for memory loss
If you’re worried about memory loss — especially if memory loss affects your ability to complete your usual daily activities or if you notice your memory getting worse, call The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center at (561) 588-4545 to schedule a free, confidential memory screening.