We become more forgetful as we age, right? But did you know that an appreciable decline in our memory ability begins while we are still in our 40s? A recent test of 7000 men and women at the University College London indicated that there was a 3.6% decline in the mental reasoning of those aged 45 to 49. The good news is some of our memory ability is in our hands! Genetics only accounts for a third of memory success. The rest is our state of wellness: our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and social health.
Radiance Rules for Protecting your Memory
Think for Yourself
Google is making us all stupid! Don’t rely on the internet to be your brain. Remember when we used to memorize phone numbers? We knew how to spell and how to determine a tip? Many of us can’t wait to look up an answer on-line rather than taking one minute to remember it on our own. Stop relying on gadgets! Just like your body, your memory must be exercised to stay in shape.
And Speaking of Exercise…
Exercise gets your heart pumping, getting oxygen flowing to your brain, bringing nutrients to brain cells and promoting growth of the nerves that connect them. Scientists tell us that just 20 minutes a day of aerobic exercise can lower our risk for Alzheimer’s. Plus, taking a class that requires you to remember steps or movements gives you another way to exercise your memory.
All I Wanna do is Dance!
And sing, and laugh and play! Have fun! Above all, learn new things. When you stretch your mind you can create new pathways in the brain. Take up ballroom dancing, learn to play bridge, learn a foreign language, why have you had that piano for 25 years and never played it? Enlist a friend. New things are still less scary with a buddy, even when we’re older.
Food and Supplements
Contributing to memory failure are the free radicals and inflammation wearing down our DNA and cellular structure, which result in oxidation of the brain. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as organic fruits and vegetables, as well as eating omega-three fats, found in fish and nuts, will help combat this problem. Gail Clayton, our functional medicine provider, can answer all your questions, and recommend supplements specific to your needs which will help keep your brain healthy as you age.
Sleep and Stress
We all know that we are sharper after a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t change any as we get older. Constant sleep deprivation and chronic stress can affect the memory centers located in the brain. Deep breathing exercises, yoga, and faith in a higher power can all help. There have been some great advances in supplements to promote sleep and reduce stress naturally. Gail can offer you proven solutions. Call our front desk for an appointment.
May Sound Silly, but…
Memory experts say you can retain names and places (including where you parked your car) by moving your eyes back and forth quickly for 30 seconds. This horizontal movement forces the brain’s hemispheres to interact, which is important in memory retrieval. Additionally, you can stimulate nerve cell growth in your brain by doing something unexpected such as changing the font on your computer. A recent study found that using a different, slightly difficult to read font has been shown to improve your long-term retention. Focusing on a new font may make your brain’s processing center work a little harder, increasing your recall. You may notice the font in this article is a little unusual. It is Comic Sans Italicized (the font used in the study). Even if you didn’t notice, your brain did! See? Smarter already!