Your Memory: Use It or Lose It! Have you ever forgotten an appointment, where you left your keys, or someone’s name? Thanks to modern technology, we have computers, phones, and countless other devices to keep us on track. While we rely heavily on these tools, do we stop to consider how they affect our memory?
How can our memory remain strong if we stop using it? Fortunately, studies support there are simple strategies everyone can practice to maintain and potentially improve our memory. Pay attention Studies show we lose our capacity to remember as we age.
Through actively listening, responding and acknowledging, remembering becomes easier. Wri te down all app ointments Carry a memo pad and pen along with you wherever you go. Make note of all engagements and appointments you schedule and accept. Keep a notepad next to each phone in your home and on your bedside table. Writing things down will help you to remember. Use ass ocia tion to regis ter nam es of people you meet When you are introduced to someone new, think of a clever way to associate his or her name.
Does it rhyme with a simple word? Does he/she remind you of someone you already know? Or perhaps they resemble a famous actor? Commit their name to memory for future recollection. App ly sticky notes to doors , mirr ors and ca binets These can be great reminders, but keep them to a minimum.
Take down ones you no longer need. When you are leaving for the day, bring along the sticky notes that have people’s names or appointment times and places. Keep them handy to remind yourself where you are going, when you need to be there, and whom you will see. Use pi llboxes Keep the pillbox stocked for the entire day including morning, noon, mid-afternoon and nighttime doses of all necessary medications. Set aside time to refill it once per week.
This is also an excellent way to stay on top of the need to refill prescriptions before they run out. Use alarms and tim ers This is an easy way to remind yourself of when to take medications, when you need to leave for an appointment or eat lunch. Play mi nd gam es Whether it’s a word search, daily crossword puzzle or computer game, everyone needs to work with the brain to keep it awake!
Focus on Folate A recent study published in The Lancet found Folate can slow cognitive decline and can improve the memory. Foods rich in Folate are strawberries, orange juice, green leafy vegetables, dried beans, fortified cereal, nonfat milk and yogurt, seafood poultry and whole grains. Your smart food strategy should include 5 to 9 daily servings of colorful foods such as dark colored fresh fruits and vegetables.
Your brain consumes 30% of your daily calories. The right foods will provide the fuel required to help your brain think, concentrate, remember and react. Even while you sleep, your brain is consuming fuel. That is why eating a good breakfast is important. It refuels your body and your brain. Sources: Scarmeas, Stern, Tang, Mayeux and Luchsinger Mediterranean diet and risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Annals of Neurology.