7 Ways To Improve Your Memory & Boost Brainpower at Any Age
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for some people to remember minuscule details of events from years ago? Have you ever wished that you could have a sharper memory and comprehend new concepts easily? The good news is that the brain can be kicked into gear at any stage of life. While it is always more advantageous to begin these good health habits while young and adaptive, the following healthy habits can boost brain power at any age.
- Get Plenty of Vigorous Exercise
Exercising is not just about keeping your muscles and body in an attractive form. Daily exercise is essential for good health in your heart, lungs internal systems and, of course, your brain. It's also a way to keep your energy levels up! Obesity and the plethora of other health conditions that can spring from inactivity have negative effects on brain function.
Lack of regular exercise can cause a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels and arteries in the body. This impedes the smooth blood circulation and the transfer of vital oxygen throughout the body. In addition to an increased risk of heart attacks, plaque reduces the amounts of nutrients and oxygen provided to the brain and other body parts.
Without a full supply of nutrients or oxygen to the brain, functions are compromised significantly. To avoid the onset of this situation, be sure to get plenty of exercise every day. While a full hour of blood pumping aerobics or sports is ideal, but not always possible, a half-hour walk through the park or bike ride can improve brain acuity.
- Eliminate Stressors and Fight Depression
Fear, anger and stress sap vital energy from the brain, especially the part of the brain responsible for memory, creative thinking and concentration. One of the most damaging mental conditions is depression, which has often been mistakenly identified as a mental condition due to its ability to impede concentration. Without focus it is easy to assume things are simply slipping from your memory.
Those suffering from depression will have higher amounts of cortisol circulating within their brain and bloodstream. Medical science has proven that cortisol works to corrode certain areas of the brain, namely the hippocampus, which is responsible for short memory storage. Short-term memory is essential to learning, making new associations and focusing on the work or projects at hand. Prolonged depression can destroy your capacity to think of something new and find creative solutions to tasks at hand.
- Get Proper Rest and Sleep
A consistent 7 - 8 hours of sleep each night will optimize your memory retention. Sleeping is as essential to a well-balanced life as proper nutrition or daily exercise. During sleep your body goes through many cycles, each cycle is essential to proper body function when awake.
The brain takes this time of repose to consolidate memories and process newly acquired information. This is very important to learning new things well and building on stored memory, without proper sleep the mind becomes a jumble of disorganized lessons, intentions and tasks. Try taking a nap during the day especially after you have learned something new. You will find your thoughts better consolidated and your brain fully recharged keeping your cognitive function at its best.
- Write it Down
If you have a specific piece of information you will need to access later, write it down. The simple act of writing down a note is often all you will need to store that information in your mind. When you jot down a note, you activate and oxygenize parts of the brain essential for memory retention. The more you write down the more exercise your brain is getting.
Begin some brain healthy habits like keeping a journal, writing emails to yourself or even keeping a personal blog of all the activities you have adopted to improve your brain power and memory. These activities will improve your capacity to remember small details and consolidate newly acquired information.
- Listen to Music
Some types of music, according to medical studies, has been known to improve the capacity for mental recall. Information gathered while listening to a particular piece of Bach, for example, can be recalled by playing the piece of music again. Beats, melodies and tunes can be used to pull up particular pieces of information.
- Feed the Brain
You need a fatty brain! How do you like that? 50% - 60% of the brain is simply body fat used to insulate and protect the millions of nerve cells operating beneath. The better the fatty insulation around these nerves the better their capacity to transmit and receive signals. In other words fatty brains can think faster and clearer than skinny brains.
This is exactly why parents and caregivers are advised to give small children whole milk. They are even warned on the dangers of juvenile dieting programs that can adversely affect brain development. Even low-fat diets in adults can reduce the necessary brain fat.
With this in mind, let’s pack on the micro-pounds with these brain healthy fats that are essential to long-term memory. Begin with fish like wild salmon, anchovies, sardines and mackerel. Then it’s off to the produce department for some dark leafy veggies, kale, spinach and bok choi, which are all top picks. Fats are important too, but steer clear of those deep fried foods and vegetable oils. Look for animal fats like bacon, lard and duck fat which have the fats the brain needs for improved communications.
- Teach Others...to Teach Others
Reading out loud has been found one of the best ways to remember the subjects you are reading about. When your eyes, brain and voice are working together to understand a concept, you learn it better. The more parts of your body you focus on a subject at hand the better you will learn. Taking notes on what you read improves this capacity sevenfold.
Take this idea a few steps further by teaching this same concept to someone else. Educational instructors and psychologists alike have found that students who teach these concepts to others will understand them and recall their important principles far better.
You can also try sharing productivity techniques to eliminate wasting precious time and get more tasks done during the day!
A mind that is clear as glass and fast as lightning is a huge advantage in this world of constant information. Remember that this ability can be cultivated at any stage in life and begins with a step toward better health. By following the above mentioned suggestions you can regain full control of your cranial capacity and set your mind in motion.
Hi! We’re Team Neuro, aficionados of all things brain-related, from creativity to working out. With backgrounds in art, science, and athletics, we love delving into all the potentials of the human body.
We also created the world's first sugar-free nootropic energy caffeine gum that utilizes the effects of caffeine and L-theanine, made to help you optimize your mind — anywhere, anytime. Find out more here.