It’s never too late to improve your memory retention and keep your mind working like a well-oiled machine. Although many seniors are anxious about the possibility of memory loss, you don’t have to let this be part of your aging experience.
Even in the face of memory disorders and diseases, it’s possible to maintain your present memory function or slow the rate of memory loss with a few proactive steps.
- Get moving! Many of us think of our bodies and minds as separate things, but physically they are connected. The health of one affects the health of the other. Keep your memory sharp by keeping your body strong. Exercise is possible for almost all level of physical fitness and health—what seems like little for one person may be a lot for another. Consult with a doctor, trainer, or physical therapist to develop an exercise regimen suitable for you. Exercise not only keeps your brain healthy, it can be a great way to socialize and experience new things, which are also excellent for your memory.
- Get out! Speaking of socializing, it really is wonderful for memory care. Socializing stimulates many different parts of your brain, and encourages your brain to create new memories. It’s also fun and pleasurable, and the more pleasure chemicals in your brain, the healthier it will be. Isolation and depression have been linked in some studies to increased likelihood of memory disorders. If you live alone, consider a retirement community to give you more opportunities to interact and mingle.
- Get into it! What interests you? Is it politics, literature, learning languages, shopping, art, music, games, entertaining, or something else? Spend time on whatever gets you the most excited. Lifelong learning is linked to strong memories. You’ve spent your whole life learning new things at school, work, in hobbies, and through relationships. Don’t stop now just because you’re retired! Take this time to try something new.
- Get a bite to eat! Changing your diet can also have a big impact on your memory fitness. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and reducing your intake of sugars, carbs, sodium, and processed foods improve your overall health, and your mental health, too. Give your body the ingredients it needs to grow new brain tissue and reduce the stress weight-related diseases put on all your body’s systems.
- Get lost! Well, not lost exactly, but it can be fun to break routines and try new things. Take a new route to your grand kids’ house, wander through a park you haven’t visited before, or try a different shopping center across town. The more opportunities you give your brain to think hard, remember new information, and get out of a rut, the more stimulated it will be, helping your memory.
Memory care is more than just preventive medicine—it can be a fun way to liven things up and get the most out of life. Trying new foods, new activities, and meeting new people aren’t just good for you, they’re also a great way to enjoy yourself to a whole new extent.