Many older adults become concerned about their memory. Forgetting the name of someone you’ve met before or misplacing your keys twice in the same week creates an unusual panic that you might be beginning to suffer from memory loss. Cognitive decline is incredibly complicated, and we don’t have all the answers yet, but the good news is that there are some proven memory loss prevention tips:
- Exercise: You already knew that exercise was essential to good health, but did you know that it benefits your brain as well? Regular exercise – just thirty minutes per day – throughout adulthood has been proven to have substantial benefits to brain health and memory preservation. So whether you prefer yoga, walking, swimming, or something more intense, make time for your exercise routine!
- Games: Exercising your body is great, but you can exercise your brain further with games and puzzles. By challenging your brain, you literally exercise the gray matter, which helps to preserve it. You can play solo games like math or word puzzles, or make time for games night with friends, or even download some new games on your phone or tablet.
- Socialising: That games night might not actually be a bad idea – it turns out that socialising really does help keep us healthy. Spending time with people who make us feel good reduces stress and depression, which in turn contributes to preventing memory loss. Make time to call people you care about, for your own sake!
- Sleep right: Sleeping is essential to cognitive repair every night, so cutting yourself short on sleep literally cuts short the time your brain needs to repair and build memories. If you do nothing else for your health, make sure you start sleeping at least seven hours every night.
- Eat right: Good nutrition helps all of the cells in our bodies – especially those in the brain. Drink plenty of water, eat your fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed and fast foods. Every part of your body will thank you, including your memory!