Science

Five Ways To Improve Memory, Boost Your Gray Matter

By Hilda Scott , Mar 17, 2013 04:48 PM EDT

No matter what age you are, there are steps you can take to boost your memory. Staying mentally and physically active is a positive step towards better brain health.

Some form of memory loss is a natural part of aging, no matter how old you are. As we age, our attention and memory slowly deteriorate. To boost brain power, there are some things that can be done to help unleash your brain's full potential.

1. Add fish to your diet:

Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily types of fish can help your brain work more effectively. Adding eight ounces of fish such as salmon, sardines or tuna to your weekly diet can do wonders for your gray matter. If you're not too keen on fish, consider other alternatives such as beans, nuts, seeds or spinach. You may also talk to your doctor or visit a health food store for supplements.

2. Exercise:

Exercising is good for the brain as much as it is for the body. Without regular exercise, plaque can build up in your arteries and prevent blood vessels from pumping blood effectively. This can lead to heart attacks and reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients that flow to the brain.  The lack of nutrients can compromise the brain's ability to function at its proper capacity, so get out there and get moving. Exercise gets the blood pumping and stimulates the brain. Even just a brisk walk will help, swimming and dancing are also good activities to consider.

3. Get a good night's rest:

Getting at least 7 to 8 hour of sleep each night will help increase your memory. While the body sleeps, the brain strengthens your recently stored memories. Proper rest is essential to help the body get through the many nocturnal cycles that occur. This ensures optimal brain and body functioning for the next day. Even short power naps throughout the day can help recharge the brain and keep it sharp. Your boss may have a problem with this, so a short nap during your lunch break may be a good idea, just not at your desk.

4. Listen to music:

Studies have shown that music can be very helpful when it comes to recollection of memories. Songs and music can act as cues for accessing particular memories when information is learned while listening to a particular song.

5. Do crossword puzzles, play cards:

Crossword puzzles or card playing games have been shown to keep your brain active and delay memory loss. Studies show that engaging in either of these activities is helpful in stimulating the brain. Games involve memorizing a pattern or set of rules and challenge the brain. So pick up one of those .99 cent crossword books or enjoy a game of solitaire.

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