Often, we face embarrassing situations when we cannot recall names of people very known to us or forget the date of birthday of our beloved one. Then we started to blame our poor memory. Although everyone’s capacity to memories things is not the same but we can boost our existing memory by staying mentally active including physical activity in your daily routine. Here are some ways you can try to improve your memory:
Stay mentally active
Mentally stimulating activities help keep our brain in shape and memory loss at bay. Doing crossword puzzles and reading a section of the newspaper that you normally skip are helpful. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organisation.
Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others especially if you live alone. When you are invited to share a meal or attend an event, do not wait.
You are more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook or calendar. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you write it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current, and check off items you have completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.
Limit distractions, and do not try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you are trying to remember, you will be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you are trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.
Eat a healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet is as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as lean meat, skinless poultry and fish. What you drink counts, too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain — which may help keep your memory sharp. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day. If you do not have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.
Manage chronic conditions
Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as thyroid problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be.
We have a tremendous capacity to remember, but we must keep stimulating our brain to make a significant impact on how well we remember. One of the important ways we did not mention above is to stimulate our memory is through practice and rehearsal. This technique helps us to transfer material from short–term to long-term memory (permanent), so that it can be recalled readily. Then we must exercise our memory regularly and cross-train our brain to have important information etched into the memory bank in brain.
Source: The Daily Star, February 26, 2010