Mind Your Memory
It May Be Easier Than You Think
One of the single most important things people can do to stave off declining brain function is to exercise
Nobody wants to look or feel old. We certainly don't want to think old. From forgetting your keys to struggling to recall an acquaintance's name, many people worry about their memory, and over time those worries increase. But addressing your memory lapses is easier than you think. Smart lifestyle choices can help keep your brain and memory in tip-top shape.
Train your brain through exercise
One of the single most important things people can do to stave off declining brain function is to exercise. According to health experts at the Stanford Center for Longevity, regular aerobic exercise has been shown to improve attention, reasoning, and components of memory.
Aim for a minimum of four to five moderately intense, 20- to-30 minute, aerobic exercise sessions per week. What's "moderately intense?" Brisk walking counts. You should be breathing hard enough so that carrying on a conversation takes a little effort. If you're gasping for breath, back off the pace. If walking isn't your thing, try:
Remember: always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan.
Feed your brain properly
The same foods that contribute to clogged arteries around your heart (cardiovascular disease), also contribute to clogged arteries around your brain (known as cerebrovascular disease). The nutrients found in healthy foods can protect the brain against everyday wear and tear too. Put your money where your mouth is:
Be supplement savvy
As people age, they may not absorb vitamins and minerals as well as they should.
If you are considering these or any other supplements, talk to your doctor about which ones might be right for you. Dietary supplements can interfere with medications, so stay safe by clearing supplement use with your healthcare provider.
Engage your brainFinally, staying engaged in life is another way to keep the brain sharp. Enjoy card games or crossword puzzles. Read a good book. Take up a new hobby. And make sure you have regular visits with family and friends: strong social connections are an important part of healthy aging.