11 Proactive Tips to Help Prevent Memory Loss
If you’ve ever forgotten where you parked your car or can’t remember what day it is – you’re not alone. We all have those moments when something slips our minds or we can’t remember some crucial detail. In most cases, it’s just a downright nuisance, but gaps in memory shouldn’t be overlooked. While there is no pat solution for curing memory loss, there are tips and tricks you can implement into your daily life that can improve your memory.
To that end, here are some proactive tips that can help you prevent memory loss.
1. Take Your Vitamins
Studies show that certain vitamins can be a crucial ally in battling memory loss. For instance, low levels of vitamin B12 (known as cobalamin) are linked to memory loss. This is especially true as you age, if you have low stomach acid, or if you take certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs – all of which decrease the body’s ability to absorb B12. As such, it may be a good idea to take a B12 supplement to improve memory if your levels of this essential vitamin are low.
Other nutrients such as vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, and omega-3 fatty acids are also hailed for their memory-boosting powers. While many essential vitamins and nutrients that help prevent memory loss can be absorbed in the body by eating a healthy diet – supplements might be a solution if you have deficiencies. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before introducing supplements to your daily routine.
2. Eat Your Veggies
You might be astonished by how many ailments and afflictions (including memory loss) can be improved through a healthy diet. For example, a diet that is primarily veggie-based can contribute to better memory retention. In fact, the Mediterranean diet is known to reduce dementia and improve memory. Why? Because a Mediterranean diet is mostly plant-based which supports healthy brain function, it includes fish which is rich with omega-3s, and includes extra-virgin olive oil, which is also known to promote memory function.
3. Play Some Games
While mental decline certainly isn’t a joking matter, playing games may help prevent memory loss. Research shows that the more engaged and active the mind becomes (especially as we age), the more nimble our brains will be. So, break out the brain-teasers, crossword puzzles, and chess board pieces – because all of these and other mind-challenging activities can be game changers for your memory.
4. Go for a Walk
According to the Mayo Clinic, taking a brisk 20-minute walk every day (about 150 minutes a week) can work wonders for our mental abilities. To explain, physical activity makes the blood pump through our body and thus encourages better blood flow to the brain. And more blood circulating and stimulating the brain means better memory function.
5. Get Your Zzzzz’s
Imagine that your brain is like a battery. Your brain, like batteries, needs to be recharged – which is exactly what sleep does for your brain and body. While this is an oversimplified analogy, sleep is critical to the restoration, recuperation, and recharging of your brain. Sleep should be a big priority in your effort to prevent memory loss. Try to shoot for seven to nine hours of sleep each day/night.
6. Say “No” to Bad Habits
It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes, abusing illicit drugs, and overconsumption of alcohol puts a titanic kibosh on overall health. These bad habits can also be crushing your efforts to prevent memory loss. Therefore, if you want a healthy life and want your brain working at optimal capacity – kick any bad habits you have because it’s just not worth risking your well-being or your future.
7. Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle
We’re not suggesting you give up all your worldly possessions and live in a monastery. We are, however, suggesting that the more details and elements in your life you can minimize, the better. To elaborate, cutting out distractions and eliminating clutter is a great way to gain clarity and improve your focus. With less flotsam and fluff around you, the more organized and liberated you become. In other words, sticking to a clear-cut, minimalist lifestyle is an ideal way to boost concentration and memory.
8. Take Inventory of Your Overall Health
If you’re the picture of health, congratulations. However, most of us have an issue or two that we can improve when it comes to chronic health conditions. Issues like carrying around extra weight, high blood pressure, or cholesterol can thwart your efforts to prevent memory loss. Get a general physical, and start addressing the health issues that you can control. As you do, you will likely find your overall health getting better, as well as improvements in your memory.
9. Have a Kaffeeklatsch
A kaffeeklatsch is a German way of saying, “let’s get social over a cup of coffee.” Our point here is that being socially active and engaging in social activities is a brilliant way to prevent memory loss. Studies show that sharing memories, laughing with friends, and spending quality time with family members improves mental function and supports brain performance. If you live alone, social engagement is especially important. Seek out support groups or attend activities where you can interact with like-minded people. Not only does social gathering improve mood, but it also boosts your brain.
10. Read a Juicy Novel
We’re not talking about just any novel. Read fiction. According to clinical professor and neurologist Dr. Richard Restak, “reading fiction prompts you to remember characters and follow a story.” Reading fiction also activates your imagination, which is a magical aspect of the mind. Diving into a delicious fiction novel engages areas of the brain that non-fiction simply can’t touch. Therefore, pick up a Zane Grey, Danielle Steel, or Stephen King novel at your local library and start boosting your memory today.
11. Last but Not Least – Talk to Your Doctor
While all of these tips to prevent memory loss are a great place to start – your first step in upping your mental game is to speak with your medical professional. Your doctor can give you professional advice (which this article should not replace). He or she can also review any medications or medical issues you might have that could be impeding your memory function.