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Lifestyle Changes to Fight Memory Loss

By September 16, 2015Archives

As we all age, our memory isn’t going to be as sharp as it once was. While many older people will relegate the occasional forgetful moment to a “senior moment,” it may actually be the symptom of not enough blood and oxygen reaching the brain. While forgetting a person’s name or what was happening just a moment ago are normal, forgetting the name of a close family member can be indicative of more serious issues.

Contrary to common belief, age-related memory loss does not get worse as time goes on. Older people are actually better than their younger peers at memory-related tasks, such as crossword puzzles. It’s possible to stop, and in some cases, reverse memory loss through a few lifestyle changes.

The supply of blood to the brain is absolutely vital. That goes without saying. Adding a bit of exercise to one’s daily routine does not have to be life-altering. As little as 45 minutes of walking, three times per week, can do the trick. Aerobic exercise increases the supply of blood to the brain, which in turn spurs the development of new neurons, and forges connections between them. It literally causes the brain to better itself.

A Balanced Diet
Various experiments have shown that laboratory animals on nutrition-rich diets were smarter than those that were fed poorly. Not to say that seniors are lab animals, but the example still applies. People who take vitamin supplements have proven to have less brain shrinkage than those who took none. It’s important to get a minimum daily supplement of vitamins C, E, B6, and B12. Folate is also useful. Fruits and vegetables are important natural sources of vitamins and minerals

Lifelong Learning
Lifelong learning creates a “cognitive reserve” that can help preserve the integrity of the mind when Alzheimer’s begins to set in.It could be acquiring a new skill, like learning to play an instrument, or woodworking. It’s not the physicality of it, but the mental requirements that helps the brain. Solving a puzzle can improve the ability to concentrate while driving. Learning a new language expands the mind, building and strengthening connections between nerve cells by requiring complex thinking.

In addition to each of these suggestions for improved mental acuity, it is necessary to get a full night’s sleep. The mind cannot operate properly if it’s not rested. The manner in which seniors cope with stress is also an issue. Brooding over a problem actually weakens brain cells. A healthy diet increases the ability to think in a complex manner and solve problems. Exercise, a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet will drastically improve a senior’s ability to retain a sharp mind and good memory.

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