Exercises To Sharpen Your Memory At Any Age
Posted by Mike McQuinn on January 3, 2016 | no comments
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you were trying to find? As we age, our cognitive reserves tend to diminish. However, it is never too late to work our brain “muscles” to get them back into shape. With the right activities, our brains can create new neural pathways and amend existing ones.
Change Up Your Routines
By the time you have become an adult, you have learned how to tie your shoes, brush your teeth, drive a car, etc. These are established neural pathways. Sometimes you even perform them on autopilot. Give your brain a workout by doing these same activities in a different way. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand. Put your clothes on in a different order, and force your brain to work out these new ways to do the same things.
Get Some Physical Exercise
Studies have shown that increasing physical exercise enlarges your brain. Well, not the whole thing, but the part that stores memories, called the hippocampus. Elevated blood flow to this area has shown to cause new connections to be formed as well as a protein, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), to be released. BDNF is responsible for the storage of long-term memories in the hippocampus. Any physical activity for 20-30 minutes should do the trick.
In addition to learning how to do old things in new ways, try learning how to do new things, as well. Practice hand-eye coordination by taking up a new craft, such as knitting or painting. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Stop using a calculator and do math problems in your head. Memorize a grocery list and try to recall it an hour later. Lastly, take a cooking class. This will engage all of your senses to further incorporate the lessons you learn. All of these actions serve to blow off the mental cobwebs we have let creep into our daily lives.
Recall Your Day
Before going to sleep at night, try to go through all of the events of the day, from the moment you woke up, until your head hits the pillow. At first, you will mostly recall the bigger things that occurred, but try to slow them down and pick out the tiny details. The more you practice this, the better your recall and observations will improve.
Some people feel that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Science has proven that is not true, no matter what age you are. Shake up your day with new mental and physical exercises and you will see how much your memory is better for it.