According to the influential English philosopher John Locke in his memory theory, a person’s identity critically hinges on what they remember, and therefore, if their memory starts to disappear, so does their identity.
Memory loss can affect even the mundane things that you do every day, but it can also go beyond simply forgetting your car keys or familiar people’s names: it can gradually and greatly affect your quality of life. It comes as no surprise, then, that even memory slips can trigger fears of memory loss among older adults.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help improve your memory and to reduce your risk of suffering a decline thereof in the future. Let’s explore a few, natural ways to improve your memory and find out where to get high-quality memory care in Southeast Michigan.
1.) Stay physically active.
There are plenty of great reasons to get physically active, and among these is that it helps reduce brain fog that comes with age and protects your memory from decline.
Doing regular physical activity— either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week—has been shown to improve memory and significantly reduce your risk of dementia. Regular exercise also enhances the effects of particular brain chemicals, which help improve mood and sleep and lower stress hormones thought to contribute to cognitive impairment.
Moreover, results of a study conducted at the University of British Columbia show that regular aerobic exercise—the kind that raises your heart rate—boosts the size of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a crucial role in learning and memory.
2.) Eat a healthy diet.
A healthy, balanced diet can help reduce the risk of many conditions including obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, which are known risk factors for dementia.
Eating a healthy diet essentially means:
- Cutting back consumption of foods high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt
- Eating five portions of different fruits and vegetables every day
- Loading up on excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids: fish, skinless poultry, eggs, beans, and pulses
- Consuming whole grains: brown rice and wholewheat bread, pasta and crackers
- Maintaining required levels of vitamin D, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folate (all thought to lower your risk of dementia). If you can’t get enough of these essential nutrients, at least take some dietary supplements.
3.) Stimulate your brain.
Playing brain games, such as crossword puzzles, matching games, and Sudoku, is an excellent way to boost your memory. Doing this on a regular basis through your golden years, according to research, can help you avoid age-related memory problems.
4.) Get enough sleep.
Getting sufficient, good-quality sleep (that is seven to nine hours a day) enhances your focus and helps you maintain a sharp memory. Sleep allows you to process new information and has also been found to improve procedural memory (the memory associated with skills and procedures).
Moreover, sleeping after studying allows you to consolidate the information that you’ve just learnt, into memories, so it can be stored in the brain and recalled at a later time.
Meditation is undeniably relaxing, and it brings a sense of peacefulness, but its benefits just don’t stop there: it has been found to increase blood flow in the brain and improve memory as well.
Results of a study conducted by a team of Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) show the beneficial effects of meditation on the brain’s gray matter, which is responsible for sensory perception (vision, touch, and hearing), memory, emotions, and speech, among others.
Furthermore, according to a different study conducted by another team of Harvard-affiliated researchers, people who meditate regularly have significantly larger hippocampal dimensions, thus better memory.
Memory Care in Southeast Michigan
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from memory decline, visit one of our board-certified neurologists at Associates in Neurology. Our providers have the advanced training and technology available to accurately determine the cause and devise an effective treatment plan, so that you may live an excellent quality of life.
To find out more about our services or to arrange a consultation at one of our convenient locations in the greater Detroit area, call us today at (248) 478-5512. Alternatively, you can also use our secure online form to schedule your visit.