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Tips to Improve your Memory and Prevent Memory Loss

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memory_loss_manCan't find your car keys? Can't remember the name of someone you were just introduced to? You're not alone. Everyone forgets things occasionally. Still, memory loss is nothing to take lightly, as it may indicate a potential serious problem.

There are some things in your control that you can do to improve your memory and slow or stop memory loss!

No. 1: Get organized

You're more likely to forget things if your home and work area is cluttered and 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've completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials. Place your wallet, keys and other essentials in this place routinely.

No. 2: Focus

Limit distractions, and don't try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you're trying to remember, you'll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you're trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.

No. 3: Stay mentally active

Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization.

No. 4: Socialize regularly

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're invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!

No. 5: 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. Dark fruits and veggies are especially healthy as they contain antioxidants, which studies show have a positive effect on brain health and cardio health. 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.

No. 6: Exercise Daily

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 don't have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.

No. 7: Get proper rest

Lack of sleep and poor quality sleep can affect your thinking skills an d your memory. Make sure you get enough sleep and that your sleep is of good quality. Limit distractions in the bedroom, and ensure that your bed, pillow and sleeping environment is conducive to good sleep.

No. 8: Manage chronic conditions

Follow your doctor's treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such high blood pressure, and depression. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be.

When to seek help for memory loss

If you're worried about memory loss, especially if memory loss is starting to affect your ability to complete your usual daily activities, as well as your personal relationships, consult your doctor. Your doctor will likely do a physical exam, as well as check your memory and problem-solving skills to determine if you have a memory problem and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment will depend on what's contributing to the memory loss.

Last modified on Monday, 20 February 2012 14:48
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