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How to Improve Memory

corporate wellness longevity Jun 12, 2023
How to Improve Memory | Joseph Arangio

I heard about this elderly couple that were having a terrible time with their memory.

So they went to the doctor and he instructed them to start writing things down.

The next night, they were watching television and the wife said, “I sure would like a bowl of ice cream.”

The husband responded, “I’ll go get it for you.”

“Honey, you know what the doctor said, you better write it down,” she said.

“I’m just going in the kitchen. I’m not going to forget,” he replied.

The husband came back a few minutes later, and handed her a plate of bacon and eggs.

She shook her head and said, “I should have known it. You forgot my toast.”

Have you ever had trouble finding your car keys?

Or completely blanked out on someone's name after you just met them?

If you're over the age of 40, you may occasionally struggle with cognitive health.

Cognitive health refers to the ability to think clearly, learn, remember, and make decisions.

It encompasses other things, including attention span, memory, executive functions, and mental agility.

These cognitive activities tend to decline with age, but lifestyle factors play a crucial role in determining the rate and extent of cognitive decline.

While you may not become a memory champion overnight, there are some simple habits that can boost cognitive health and help you to become less forgetful.

How to Improve Memory

In today's fast-paced world, cognitive health has become an increasingly important aspect of overall well-being.

Many 40-plus men and women are seeking effective strategies to improve your mental acuity, focus, and memory.

By adopting a holistic approach that combines proven practices, you can optimize your brain health and unlock your full cognitive potential.

And if you're struggling in this area, don't be too proud to ask for help. 

Here are eight tips to sharpen your memory. 

1. Mindful nutrition for cognitive health

You are what you eat. And if you want to keep your brain sharp as a tack, you must feed it properly.

Load up on unprocessed carbohydrates, like fruits and veggies.

Choose lean proteins like fish, lean meats, and skinless poultry.

And watch what you drink, too. Lay off the booze, because too much of it can lead to confusion and memory loss. 

Nutrition plays a fundamental role in supporting brain health.

Adopting a mindful approach to nutrition can provide the necessary nutrients to fuel and protect your brain.

Here are some key considerations:

a) Focus on balanced meals: Opt for a diverse range of whole foods, like oatmeal with scrambled eggs for breakfast, a spinach salad with grilled chicken for lunch, and roasted asparagus with basil avocado baked salmon for dinner.

I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning. It's like eating a bowl of warm sand, except sand has more texture.

But seriously, this approach ensures a steady supply of essential nutrients and antioxidants that support brain function.

b) Omega-3 fatty acids: Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, as they are vital for brain health.

Sources include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy brain cell membranes and aid in cognitive function.

c) Antioxidant-rich foods: Consume foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries (blueberries, strawberries), dark leafy greens, colorful vegetables (carrots, bell peppers), and green tea.

Antioxidants combat oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which contribute to cognitive decline.

d) Hydration: Maintain adequate hydration to support optimal brain function.

Dehydration can impair cognitive performance, so drink more water. Ditch the diet soda and drink one ounce of filtered water per pound of bodyweight daily.

e) Mindful eating: Practice mindful nutrition by savoring each bite, eating slowly, and paying attention to your body's hunger and satiety signals.

This approach can help prevent overeating, promote better digestion, and enhance nutrient absorption.

2. The impact of resistance training on cognitive health

While physical exercise has numerous benefits for overall health, like fighting muscle loss as you age, it also exerts a profound impact on cognitive function.

Resistance training, in particular, offers unique advantages for cognitive health.

a) Increased blood flow: Resistance training enhances blood flow to the brain by improving cardiovascular fitness.

The increased circulation delivers oxygen and nutrients to brain cells, promoting their health and functionality.

b) Neuroplasticity and cognitive reserve: Resistance training stimulates the production of growth factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

These growth factors promote neuroplasticity—the brain's ability to reorganize and form new neural connections. By enhancing neuroplasticity, resistance training helps build cognitive reserve, which can offset age-related cognitive decline.

c) Mood enhancement: Regular resistance training triggers the release of endorphins and other feel-good neurotransmitters, which can alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.

A positive mood has a direct impact on cognitive function, improving focus, memory, and overall cognitive performance.

d) Sleep quality: Resistance training has been shown to improve sleep quality, which is vital for cognitive health.

During deep sleep, the brain consolidates memories and performs essential maintenance functions. By optimizing your sleep patterns, resistance training indirectly supports cognitive function.

3. Synergistic effects: Mindful nutrition and resistance training

Combining mindful nutrition and resistance training creates a powerful synergy that maximizes cognitive health benefits. 

a) Enhanced nutrient absorption: Regular exercise, including resistance training, can enhance nutrient absorption by increasing blood flow to the digestive system.

This allows your body to extract more essential nutrients from the foods you consume, nourishing your brain more effectively.

b) Reduced inflammation: Mindful nutrition's emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods, coupled with the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise, can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to cognitive decline, and mitigating it can preserve cognitive function.

c) Stress reduction: Both mindful nutrition and resistance training can help you manage stress.

Healthy nutrition and regular exercise help regulate stress hormones, lower cortisol levels, and promote a sense of calm. This reduction in stress can optimize cognitive function and support long-term brain health.

4. Sleep smarter

Sleep is essential if you want to remember things, like whether or not you closed the garage door on your way to run errands.

Lack of sleep, restless nights, and constant interruptions can encourage forgetfulness.

So, make sure you're getting a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. 

And if you're snoring like a chainsaw, see a doctor.

Snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea or some other sleep disorder. 

5. Regular checkups with your doctor

Taking care of your body is key to keeping your memory in tip-top shape.

You should complete a wellness visit every year to audit your health.

Follow your doctor's advice when it comes to managing health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, hearing loss, and obesity.

Review your medications with your healthcare provider too, because some of them can make you absentminded. Take care of yourself, and your memory will thank you.

6. Get organized

If your home looks like a tornado hit it, no wonder you can't find anything.

Keep your tasks, appointments, and events organized in a notebook, calendar, or planner on your smartphone.

Say things out loud as you write it down to help them stick in your memory.

Create to-do lists and check off completed items.

Keep your wallet, keys, glasses, and other essentials in the same spot every time.

No more searching for those elusive keys, right?

7. Socialize

Maybe you're the type of introverted person who hides like a cat when company comes to your house.

Perhaps the idea of being shipwrecked on a tropical island all by yourself seems more appealing than making small talk at a cocktail party.

On the other hand, you might be an extrovert who doesn't get out much or simply has lost touch with friends.

Either way, you must make an effort to spend time with your loved ones, friends, and other folks, especially if you're flying solo. 

Social interaction is a secret weapon against depression and stress – both of which can mess with your memory.

Get out there and have fun.

8. Do brain-specific workouts

Just like you do resistance training and metabolic conditioning to keep your body in shape, you must exercise your mind to keep your brain in check.

Engage in activities that challenge your mind, like crossword puzzles, reading, games, or even learning to play a musical instrument.

How about trying a new hobby?

Get those brain cells firing. And who knows, you might even prevent some memory loss while you're at it.

Summary:

Getting older means your memory gets worse, but hey, at least you can hide your own Easter eggs now. Seriously, improving cognitive health is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a holistic approach. By adopting mindful nutrition practices and incorporating resistance training into your lifestyle, you can optimize your brain health and enhance cognitive function. Remember to nourish your brain with a balanced diet, including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant-rich foods. Combine these nutritional choices with resistance training to boost blood flow, stimulate neuroplasticity, enhance mood, and improve sleep quality. Embrace these lifestyle changes, and unleash your cognitive potential for a healthier, more vibrant life.

To your success,

Coach Joe

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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